Celebrating completion of AKD’s Caboolture Sawmill Expansion Project

by | Mar 20, 2024

The Associated Kiln Driers (AKD) recently announced the completion of the Caboolture Sawmill Expansion Project, marking a significant milestone. The official opening was held on March 6th and included AKD Caboolture employees and local ministers, Honourable Catherine King MP, Senator the Honourable Anthony Chisholm and Terry Young MP, to celebrate.

Completed in January 2024, the project has effectively doubled the production capacity of the Caboolture site. Currently, the site is processing 370,000 metres cubed of locally grown sawlog. These upgrades have also enabled AKD to install the latest technology for improving the recovery of structural timber from the sawlog resource – enabling more houses in Queensland to be built with Queensland-grown timber. This initiative not only supports local jobs within the building supply chain but also aligns with a combined effort to reduce Queensland’s importing of timber and exporting of logs.

Included in the expansion project was the installation of an acoustic barrier which has improved the surrounding environment. This means that production can move to a two-shift operation with minimal impact on the local community.

The implementation of two shifts has created more than 100 new and permanent skilled manufacturing jobs at AKD’s Queensland site. The additional 100 new jobs in Caboolture will also support a further 763 jobs in the regional economy, according to REMPLAN modelling. The Project was possible due to a grant from the Federal Government’s Community Development grant scheme which supported a substantial investment from the AKD shareholders.

AKD Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Shane Vicary, expressed his gratitude, stating “The project has secured the future of the Caboolture sawmill in Queensland. We are very thankful to the Federal Government and grateful for the support of the local Moreton Bay Council and our log supply partners at HQP.”

“The Caboolture Team has done a fantastic job in delivering the desired outcomes of this project, providing security to existing and new employment, and opening the door for further growth opportunities for the site,” Mr Vicary said.

Neil Cooper, General Manager of Projects, acknowledged the dedicated efforts of the various departments involved in the project’s success. He emphasised the instrumental role played by each team, including the operations team, who adeptly handled interim measures during civil works, and the boiler operators, who demonstrated flexibility in transitioning between batch and continuous kilns. Additionally, the QA team’s meticulous efforts in scrutinising timber packs ensured that quality standards were upheld throughout the commissioning phase.

As AKD celebrate this achievement, the company looks forward to the continued success and growth of the Caboolture Sawmill, contributing to the prosperity of the local community and the Queensland economy.