BlueScope Port Kembla Steelworks and Springhill represents circa:

  • 10,000 jobs (direct and indirect) to our economy – that’s around 10% of all jobs – and
  • 24% of our economic output ($6.5 billion)

Regional Development Australia (RDA) Illawarra welcomed the announcement today by The Minister for Planning & Public Spaces, The Hon. Rob Stokes, that the Port Kembla Blast Furnace Upgrade Project has been declared Critical State Significant Infrastructure (CSSI).

RDA Illawarra CEO, Debra Murphy, said "recognition by the Minister of the critical role that the Port Kembla Steelworks plays in the NSW economy is pleasing. The production of steel at the Port Kembla Steelworks is a key pillar of the Illawarra regional economy which must continue to secure our diverse economic future.

The Reline of the No. 6 Blast Furnace is imperative to the continued production of steel at Port Kembla, which produces 2.6 million tonnes per annum. While we recognise that new technologies are part of our longer term future, it is important that our medium term economic future is supported by our community.

This declaration of CSSI status by Minister Stokes will enable BlueScope to spread the Reline of the No. 6 Blast Furnace over a longer period of time. In effect, this will minimise operational disruption to the Port Kembla Steelworks as well as spread the labour supply and capital expenditure over a longer timeframe, while also meeting the need for the No. 5 Blast Furnace to be decommissioned in circa 2026.

The Blast Furnace Project is not only a significant economic enabler, it is also a significant capital investment of around $700-$800 million with an estimated 1,000 construction jobs required. We look forward to this project progressing from it’s current Pre-Feasibility Stage, to receiving environmental and financial approvals. This project is important to the future of the Illawarra, NSW and nation’s economies.”