An artist's impression of what the Rheinmetall NIOA Munitions Factory will look like.
An artist's impression of what the Rheinmetall NIOA Munitions Factory will look like.

Gov’t commits $9m to boost electricity for munitions plant

THE State Government has committed $9 million to make sure Maryborough's new munitions factory has the power it needs.

It comes after months of speculation over whether Maryborough's energy supply would be up to the job of powering Maryborough's Rheinmetall NIOA Munitions factory.

This latest investment will fund an additional Maryborough substation and a dedicated 11-kilovolt connection, built for the plant.

Minister for State Development and Manufacturing Cameron Dick said the $60 million factory would create up to 100 jobs.

"Maryborough has enough power, but because the facility's energy needs are complex we want to strengthen supply and safeguard connection," Mr Dick said.

"We worked with Ergon Energy and RNM to best understand what the plant needed in terms of connection to the grid, and we're now investing $9 million to facilitate it.

"The Palaszczuk Government is committed to growing manufacturing jobs in Maryborough and the Wide Bay.

"We welcome the new 100 jobs set to be created, and we'll keep working to bring more work to this region."

It comes after repeated assurances from Ergon Energy, the state's energy provider, that there were no supply issues in Maryborough.

The State Government has already invested $7.5 million through the Jobs and Regional Growth Fund to help bring the facility to the city.

Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders said construction would begin in March 2020, with the plant to commence full production in 2022.

"The plant will produce 30,000 155-millimetre artillery shell cases annually for both the Australian Defence Force and Rheinmetall's international supply chain," Mr Saunders said.

"Most importantly though, it will produce more jobs for Maryborough, continuing the Palaszczuk Government's great work to boost manufacturing locally."

RNM Deputy Chair and Director Robert Nioa said the new facility was a complex project that required detailed consideration of its technical specifications by both Ergon Energy and RNM.

"Through these considerations the exact nature of the facility's electricity connection requirements became apparent," Mr Nioa said.

"We're very pleased the Queensland Government was able to facilitate the negotiations between all stakeholders and take the necessary steps to secure the plant's connection requirements."

The new factory will support local businesses that are part of the industry supply chain.

Mr Saunders said the shell forging plant would add to the city's long and proud manufacturing

"Businesses like Downer EDI Rail, Hyne Timber and Select Patient Care all employ and thrive here in Maryborough," Mr Saunders said.

"We welcome the partnership between Rheinmetall and Queensland-based Nioa, and look forward to RNM creating much needed jobs for our community."

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