Kangaroo Island Plantation Timber Ltd (ASX:KPT) is making progress towards its goal of having the Smith Bay deepwater port approved and is preparing a detailed response to issues raising during a recent public consultation for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
The company does not believe that any of the issues raised in the consultation should prevent the Smith Bay project from being approved in its current form.
A formal response document, which is effectively a supplement to the original EIS, will be submitted to the SA Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI).
It is the final step before the preparation, by DPTI, of an assessment report upon which State and Commonwealth approval decisions are based.
If approval is obtained, the construction phase will begin later this year.
The company has also made a key board change as it moves into the next phase of its growth strategy.
Kangaroo Island Plantation executive director John Sergeant told Proactive Investors that newly appointed managing director Keith Lamb would supervise the construction of the port infrastructure as well as the production of the estate.
He said: “My job has been to consolidate the assets on the island – because there was never going to be a port until one company owned the majority of the trees.
“Now the time is right to hand over to the next managing director who is an experienced timber professional and forester by training.
“It is a very smooth transition.”
About 45 people attended the three information sessions and more than 1,000 written submissions were received in the form of web-based letters by opponents of the development and individual letters of support, many of which were from Kangaroo Island residents.
The consultation process was run by the DPTI under the direction of the Minister for Planning and accredited by the Commonwealth Department of Environment.
The timber company produces woodchips from Tasmanian blue gum trees planted on Kangaroo Island off the mainland of South Australia, southwest of Adelaide.
The woodchips then produce high-quality cellulose pulp which is in items such as facial tissues, business cards, rayon and disposable nappies.
Sergeant added: “We own the land, we own the trees, we grow timber and we sell it – it is a very simple business model.”
Shares have traded up to $2.30 today, up almost 5% on yesterday's close.