BlueScope Steel has secured $55.4 million in funding from the federal government’s Modern Manufacturing Initiative for its Advanced Steel Manufacturing Precinct around the Port Kembla steelworks.
The $217 million precinct will include a new facility that will be able to produce plate steel for Defence armoured vehicles and patrol boats, as well as the type of steel used to create wind turbine towers and large-scale solar installations.
This will reduce the need for overseas imports and boost Australia’s sovereign capability in steel fabrication.
The project will also foster deeper collaboration with steel manufacturers by building on the existing relationship with the Steel Research Hub at the University of Wollongong.
More than 200 people will be employed directly in steel manufacturing once the precinct is up and running, with around 1,000 more workers in adjacent industries.
“The grant will catalyse a further $161.6 million of investment by BlueScope and its partners Keppel Prince, Bisalloy and the University of Wollongong, and will create approximately 200 new jobs in steel manufacturing, plus up to 1000 jobs in associated industries,” BlueScope managing director and CEO Mark Vassella said.
“The investment – which will create an Advanced Steel Manufacturing Precinct at Port Kembla Steelworks – will see the building of a new fabrication facility to manufacture components for the renewable energy, defence and other sectors, as well as upgrades and modernisation of BlueScope’s Plate Mill.”
The enhanced capability at Port Kembla will bolster domestic supply chains, as well as increase the downstream local manufacture of steel goods, minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said.
“This precinct represents an incredible win-win – not only increasing the local production of Aussie-made steel, but also helping build up our renewable energy and defence sectors,” Taylor said.
“The Port Kembla steelworks has a proud history. This precinct will help BlueScope thrive into the future and create more jobs in the region. The Morrison government is determined to back our steel industry, the manufacturing sectors it helps drive and the local communities they represent.”
The federal government will continue its investments under the Modern Manufacturing Initiative to back Australian manufacturers to become more competitive, resilient and able to scale.