A $6-MILLION redevelopment at one of Colac’s biggest employers has grown to a $10-million investment.
AKD timber manufacturer chief Shane Vicary said the company had secured a 10-year contract with a South Australian fibre supplier.
The contract has ensured the Colac timber plant will increase its log production by 25 per cent, maximising the capabilities of its new $6-million log turner and de-barker and furthering employees’ job security.
Mr Vicary said development meant the company was halving production and shifts at its Irrewarra site and moved workers to the expanded Colac site.
He said the Irrewarra plant’s afternoon shift would stop on April 26, leaving only one shift a day at the factory.
“We’re taking that operation from two shifts to one and moving it into Colac,” Mr Vicary said.
“The people that were on that afternoon shift have been redeployed to other parts of our business so there are no AKD employee redundancies,” he said.
Mr Vicary said the company communicated with its Irrewarra employees leading up to the change.
“We’ve made it as pleasant as possible – we gave the employees tours of our Colac business and let them choose whereabouts on the site they would prefer to go,” he said.
Colac-based contractors have been building and assembling the state-of-the-art log turner and de-barker at the Colac site since November last year.
Mr Vicary said workers had tested the German-made machinery for the past two weeks.
He said the machinery would be fully operational by next week.
“It’s ready for commissioning next week which means the project has been delivered on time and the new log yard is being asphalted next week as well.”
Mr Vicary said new Colac mill would close for a week to initiate the changes.