Sun Metals cushions local business from COVID-19 blow

Sun Metals is doing its bit to ease the economic pressures of COVID-19, bringing forward payments to suppliers as well as supporting a voucher system to help local hospitality businesses.

It comes as work on a $450 million expansion at the company’s Townsville zinc refinery heads towards its expected peak in the fourth quarter of this year, when the construction project is expected to support about 350 jobs.

“Normally, as with most businesses, we pay invoices within 30 days,” chief executive officer Ki Won Park said.

“However, because of the impacts of COVID and the desire to support the local Townsville economy, we have been paying invoices as soon as possible for local contractors. 

“During this time we also partnered with Townsville Enterprise Limited to provide vouchers to our team members to encourage them to spend locally in order to help support local businesses during COVID.”

The business also turned its hand to creating some hand sanitiser, and partnered with Townsville City Council to have it distributed to a seniors’ health facility in Townsville, he said.

The expansion underway will allow Sun Metals to increase refinery capacity by 30 per cent and is expected to create 100 up to ongoing jobs covering refinery, transport and logistics opportunities.

“Work on the expansion is progressing well,” Mr Park said. 

“Obviously, there’s been some bumps for all of us, with COVID, but we’re still looking at a completion date of second quarter next year.”

He described the $450 million expansion as great news for Townsville and the greater region, with a significant ongoing knock-on effect for the local economy. 

“Taking the whole of Sun Metals’ investment, with the expansion and the solar farm and our supply chain logistics, we’ve recently invested a total of about $700 million,” Mr Park said.

“That has a great impact on not only our local Townsville economy but our regional and state economies as well.” 

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