The Southern Cross Engineering Group was awarded the contract to design, supply, install and commission a completely new Sawmill in Tasmania in March 2007.
The Client Forest Enterprises Ltd (FEA) - this sawmill is now known as Gunn's Bell Bay Sawmill, had secured 270,000m3 of Radiata Pine logs from Forestry Tasmania and decided to build a new sawmill on an existing MDF Site. SCE with its new Daughter Company Wilson Engineering Systems Ltd (WES) secured the contract to supply a new Optimil high speed sawline and the log yard, basement, sorter/ stacker line with the complete installation including electrics was ordered 6 weeks later. The time line was very short and despite some on site obstacles such as removing an existing MDF line; laying new extensive foundations and a desire to cut costs by securing some second hand equipment the mill was processing logs within 1 year from the Optimil order date. For a mill this size it was considered to be extremely quick. FEA wanted to add additional logs to lift the capacity to 300,000m3logs/year but wanted to process this volume on one shift; even if extended. This represented a daily cut on one shift of 700m3, sawn output. This was achieved certainly within 12 months and the best single shift volume within has been over 1,000m3 albeit on an extended shift. Consistently FEA has been processing 650-700m3 sawn /shift.
The project time line as stated was a huge task and despite some challenges was achieved as noted.
More details are available on this project by contacting SCE. Below are a number of photos that show the project at different stages.