“With the imminent closure of the other hardwood sawmill in the region, because of urban 'creep' and related development pressures, the Sweetman Renewables sawmill will soon be the only hardwood sawmill between Sydney and Newcastle,” said John Halkett, Sweetman’s chairman.

“This will afford Sweetman Renewables valuable commercial appeal.”

As a result of initiatives to move the economy beyond the Covid pandemic, there is currently a building and construction boom across Australia resulting in shortages of both labour and products, especially timber products.

“With frantic building and construction activity in Australia, and with building products in short supply, the Sweetman Renewables Hunter Valley sawmill is well-placed to expand production to supply some of the increasing demand for hardwood timber products across New South Wales and in other states,” said Mr Halkett.

Sweetman Renewables already has advanced plans to expand sawmill production of high-quality timber products.

“We are confident about acquiring additional log supplies from sustainable forest management operations in the region, “said Mr Halkett.

All logs processed by the Sweetman sawmill will come from third-party certified forest operations or from areas with approved harvesting authorities issued by New South Wales Local Land Services.

When development proposals proceed, the Hunter Valley sawmill will be a significant operation for Sweetman Renewables.

The sawmill operations will support and be associated with other activities, including the acquisition, processing, logistics and transport of biomass for both export to bioenergy plants in Japan, local renewable energy consumption and for the production of syngas, green hydrogen and biochar.

“These are commercially attractive and exciting aspects of the Sweetman Renewables’ business model. Already testing is under way to verify the technical credentials of Sweetman Renewables’ ‘green’ biomass sourced from industrial and residential waste streams,” said Mr Halkett.