After 45 years of operations, the shareholders of South East Fibre Exports (SEFE), Eden, have decided to sell the business to a new Australian owned company, Allied Natural Wood Exports.
SEFE general manager Peter Mitchell released a statement at 3.45pm Tuesday, December 15, breaking the news to media and community.
“Since commencing operations in 1970, SEFE has exported over 35 million tonnes of wood chips to the international paper making industry in 836 vessels, and achieved sales of over $2.3billion,” Mr Mitchell said.
“Allied Natural Wood Exports (ANWE) is a new world class wood products marketing and logistics company that will sell certified natural and plantation grown wood products from public to private growers to the international market.”
Mr Mitchell said in his statement that because SEFE will no longer be operating the site, all current employment at the site will cease.
“There are 36 employees currently with SEFE and they will all become redundant as of this Friday, December 18," Mr Mitchell told Fairfax Regional Media.
“We are hoping for future employment opportunities with ANWE, but are not privy to that information yet.”
“The future of the business is no longer in our hands.”
ANWE spokesperson Rob de Fegely advised Fairfax Regional Media in an official statement on Tuesday afternoon, December 15, that ANWE will be partnering with Australian Marshalling Services Pty Ltd and will take over SEFE on December 23.
“All the SEFE staff and contractors have been notified of the sale and a number of new positions in line with the longer term objectives of the company will be offered to both the staff and the harvesting and haulage contractors,” Mr de Fegely said in his statement.
“ANWE’s goal is to grow the business with the objective of creating a range of sustainable economic opportunities for the region.”
Local resident and experienced forest industry operator Kel Henry has been appointed ANWE general manager.
Mr de Fegely said ANWE is focused on hardwood and softwood plantation development, new wood processing technology, and innovation as the key strategies for the future, and will be actively exploring these new opportunities to develop business along the far south coast of New South Wales and throughout eastern Victoria.
“In concluding the sale, ANWE would like to acknowledge the positive contribution of the current and previous owners of SEFE to the Eden and the regional forest community,” Mr de Fegely said.
“ANWE is committed to the growth of the business and looks forward to working with all stakeholders including Forestry Corporation of NSW, Vic Forests, harvesting and haulage contractors, employees, local councils and local businesses and the Eden community in general.”