A high-tech, $308 million abattoir project is set to deliver hundreds of jobs, with the Gladstone development due to start construction by May 2019.
The advanced slaughterhouse, which will be powered by renewables, is a $308 million project developed by Asia Pacific Agri-Corp.
308 construction jobs and 335 operational jobs will be delivered through the project.
Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the abattoir development will be built in the Gladstone State Development Area (SDA).
“Once fully operational this cutting-edge facility will be capable of processing 2,400 head of cattle per day ready to cater for growing demand for Australian beef,” he said.
“The development approval also provides for 95 hectares of solar panels, capable of generating 78 MW of electricity or almost one third of the sites total electricity needs.“A further energy efficiency measure includes the development of an on-site 33MW hydrogen plant to service the abattoir’s boiler.”
Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher said that “this development will open up massive job increases for labourers in the Gladstone region by providing employment to dozens of non-trade occupations such as cattle workers, forklift drivers, and other processing workers.”
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development Mark Furner explained that the development will benefit local farmers while boosting jobs and the local economy.
“The abattoir, processing, packing and export facility is proposed to incorporate the latest and most advanced technologies used in meat processing plants, including the incorporation of robotic systems,” he said.
“These technologies will enable the Asia Pacific Agri-corp to adopt an innovative paddock to market supply chain arrangements, sourcing cattle directly from farmers and tracing product to the market.”
"We looked at the energy use of the abattoir and with the way that power prices go, it left the business vulnerable to price spikes in electricity costs," said Daniel Daly, MD of Asia Pacific Agri-Corp.
"We have our own 78-megawatt solar farm on the site, so we're able to do behind the metre or through-the-fence power deals which keeps our costs controlled for the processing.
"There was also other costs associated with waste water and removal of waste water would be considerable … we combined the surplus of power from the solar with the waste water into an onsite hydrogen plant."
The project is anticipated to be completed by 2021, with operations to start soon after.
Source: ABC News & State Government of Queensland