Dawn of New Era: SA Premier Opens NeXTimber, Australia’s First CLT & Glulam Plant!

More than 300 VIP's joined the Premier with Australia's first combined CLT and GLT production facility now operational.

Fri 01 Mar 24


Australia’s first combined CLT and GLT plant has now opened for business after the South Australian Premier, Peter Malinauskas, opened NeXTimber by Timberlink’s manufacturing facility in Tarpeena, South Australia.

“This unique facility in South Australia’s Limestone Coast presents tremendous opportunities for value-adding, product diversification and market expansion for the state’s $1.4 billion forest industries as well as the ability to contribute to the construction of taller and more complex timber buildings,” Premier Malinauskas said in a keynote address before 300 special guests and VIP’s at the mill.

The newly commissioned facility is Australia’s first and so far only combined radiata pine mass timber facility and the first to be integrated with a structural timber manufacturing plant – with Wood Central exclusively reporting that the facility was taking orders in October before a soft launch late last year.

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Timberlink pressed its first cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels, a significant development in Australia’s supply of mass timber products. It followed the production of the plant’s first glue-laminated timber beam in August 2023. (Photo Credit: NeXTimber by Timberlink Supplied)

In June, Wood Central reported that NeXTimber by Timberlink and domestic suppliers, including Xlam, Australian Sustainable Hardwoods (ASH) and Cusp, have added to more than 20 importers who service a local market expected to surge in the coming years.

Wood Central understands that the new facility can produce CLT panels up to 16 metres in length and 3.5 metres in width, with Glulam beams up to 12 metres – used for mid-rise timber and high-rise hybrid construction.

Timberlink’s $70m journey to build the facility has been four years in the making courtesy of a SA Government grant in 2020 during the height of the Covid pandemic before in 2021, launching the NexTimber brand with the tagline, “It’s what better tomorrows are built on.”

Launched as a brand in December 2021, NeXTimber by Timberlink manufactures Australian-made engineered wood products and provides mass timber building solutions with Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) panels and Glue Laminated Timber (GLT) members – footage courtesy of @timberlink6693.

Former Timberlink CEO Ian Tyson, former SA Primary Industries Minister David Basham and Grant District councillor Shirley Little broke ground on the site in early 2022, with construction continuing late into 2023 – with more than 30 full-time manufacturers now working to produce cross-laminated panels and glulam beams all year round.

“South Australia’s forest industries have a long and proud history of sustainably growing and utilising our local resources to address the growing demands for domestic and international timber,” according to the Minister for Primary Industries, Regional Development and Forest Industries Clare Scriven, who spoke at the launch.

“This new facility at Tarpeena continues that tradition of innovation by showcasing some of the world’s best innovations and supporting greener, secure and modern employment opportunities, all critical ingredients towards ensuring Limestone Coast communities continue to thrive,” Minister Schriven said.

Before adding, “This initiative, which the State Government is proud to support, links in with other government commitments to the industry.”

Whilst in Tarpeena, South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas (in the truck) launched the SA Wood Fibre and Timber Industry Master Plan – which includes investing in priority projects like $200k for an electric log truck trial examining how heavy vehicle decarbonisation can contribute to a green circular economy. (Photo Credit: Office of South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas)

As well as celebrating the opening of the NeXTimber production facility, Timberlink also celebrated the major upgrade to its existing manufacturing plants, which, according to a statement, included “over $90M invested over the following three years, installing a new saw line, stacker and edger, contraflow kiln and batch kiln and drying building.”

“This upgrade to the Tarpeena green mill is a testament to Timberlink’s commitment to innovation through timber manufacturing. By increasing the amount of timber that we can process here in the Limestone Coast region, we are directly supporting the local economy and jobs in the region,” according to Timberlink Chief Sales, Marketing & Corporate Affairs Officer David Oliver.

According to the CEO of the peak body for forest products in South Australia, Nathan Paine, the investment in mass timber is a clear example of how timber is driving the push to lower embodied carbon in South Australia and Australia-wide construction projects.

“South Australia’s forest products industries are already building the nation through growing and processing 35 per cent of the nation’s locally produced house framing timbers, 25 per cent of the nation’s particle board and now this new facility will deliver CLT and GLT products that offer a greener, more sustainable alternative to steel and concrete in mid and high-rise construction projects,” according to Mr Paine, CEO of the South Australian Forest Products Association.

“Each year, the South Australian plantation estate sequesters 4.64 million tonnes of CO2e from the atmosphere, making timber the Ultimate Renewable. The CLT and GLT timber products that will be processed by NeXTimber will provide carbon-negative mass timber products for use in mid and high-rise constrictions, helping create a cleaner, greener future.”

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South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas touring the new NeXTimber facility. (Photo Credit: Office of South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas)

The push to invest in mass timber construction comes after the Australian government and 16 other countries, including the US, the UK, Canada, Japan, France and Germany, have joined the “Coalition on Greening Construction with Sustainable Wood.”

The coalition “recognises that wood from sustainably managed forests provide climate solutions within the construction sector,” with the group committed to “increase the use of wood from sustainably managed forests in the built environment.”

Significantly, the coalition has agreed to support and promote the use of timber from “sustainable sources”, which Wood Central understands will enhance the use of PEFC and FSC certification within the building and construction industry.

To achieve this, it has pledged to advance public policies in wood production, reduce barriers to using timber in construction, scale up research and development in design and construction and promote greater knowledge transfer between borders.


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    Wood Central is Australia’s first and only dedicated platform covering wood-based media across all digital platforms. Our vision is to develop an integrated platform for media, events, education, and products that connect, inform, and inspire the people and organisations who work in and promote forestry, timber, and fibre.


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