Peter Gutwein

Premier of Tasmania

13 July 2015

Matthew Groom, Minister for State Growth

Government secures Nyrstar jobs, supports further investment at Hobart smelter

The Hodgman Liberal Government’s number one priority is jobs.

This is why we have worked hard to secure today's agreement with Nyrstar that will secure 600 direct jobs at the smelter as well as another 3,500 indirect jobs that are dependent on Nyrstar.

Nyrstar is a vital part of Tasmania’s economy, contributing around $800 million towards Tasmania’s Gross State Product and 24 per cent of Tasmania’s total export value.  Every year, Nyrstar pumps around $70 million into the Hobart economy through wages paid to employees and contractors.

Not only will this agreement secure Nyrstar’s future in Tasmania, it will also unlock a $52 million investment that will expand Nyrstar’s capacity, which in turn will create an additional 125 jobs during the construction phase alone and up to 20 new jobs at the smelter once the upgrades are complete.

Nyrstar’s commitment to its Hobart smelter is a vote of confidence in the Tasmanian economy and shows that industry and manufacturing have a strong future in Tasmania.

In return, the Government's commitment to back Nyrstar demonstrates that we are serious about jobs.

This announcement will also support the continued high levels of confidence that we’re seeing in Tasmania.

This is the latest agreement struck by the Government to secure jobs and follows a recent agreement struck with Bell Bay Aluminium to secure the future of 1,500 direct and indirect jobs in the North.

The agreement facilitates a $52 million reinvestment in Nyrstar Hobart through four transformational projects designed to expand the facility’s capacity to treat a wider range of metals as well as enhancing the site’s operational integration with Nyrstar Port Pirie and the company’s global processing network.

There is no cash component provided by Government to facilitate this additional investment. 

The funding model adopts a structure based on the successful agreement reached between Nyrstar and the South Australian Government regarding Nyrstar’s Port Pirie facility.

Under the model Nyrstar will borrow $29 million from the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation and the Government will provide a guarantee to EFIC in respect of that loan.  The guarantee will be in place until February 2019.

Nyrstar required the support of the Government to proceed with the full package of smelter transformation projects.  The arrangements were carefully assessed and recommended for approval by the Tasmanian Development Board as being of special significance to Tasmanian economy.

In addition to facilitating the transformation projects, I can announce today that the Government and Nyrstar will also jointly fund a $10 million project aimed at groundwater remediation to reduce Nyrstar’s impact on the environment.  

The Government will provide up to $5 million on a dollar-for-dollar basis.  Both Nyrstar and the Government have an obligation to work together to reduce the impact on the environment.

Nyrstar and the Government are jointly committed to ensuring this work can be undertaken as soon as possible.

In addition, Nyrstar’s parent company has also agreed to take responsibility for any other environmental liabilities at the site.

This is an important statement of support by the Government in the future of a foundational business of Tasmania and is further evidence of the Government’s strong commitment to securing Tasmanian jobs.

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