The Frew Group has announced the creation of more jobs in Stawell with a $7.83 million energy efficiency project.
The project will deliver freezer upgrades and building extensions, new meat preparation and packing equipment and covert waste to energy at the abattoir.
Industry and Employment Minister Ben Carroll announced the state government was supporting the project.
“I can’t give an exact figure, for commercial confidence reasons, what the state government is contributing but the Frew Group are contributing the bulk of the money,” he said.
Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said rising energy costs needed to be combated with tangible solutions.
“The state government is working with businesses to find niche solutions that are tailored to individual needs,” she said.
Frew Group managing director Robert Frew said the company was working hard to save costs with energy efficient practises.
“We have had a lot of issues with energy prices going up, some 93 per cent over the last 12 months. This project will allow us to take control of our energy costs,” Mr Frew said.
Mr Frew said the company had “battled” rising energy costs.
“We are being innovative and aiming to become fully sustainable.
“We will install solar panels for electricity, wood chips to heat water for gas and we try to process all of our waste on site,” he said.
Mr Frew said the abattoir exported to about 40 countries and there was a capacity for that number to increase.
“The demand for Australian produce is always growing,” he said.
Mr Few said it was a great announcement for the company and town to grow the current workforce.
Frew Group employs more than 450 people in Stawell.
Northern Grampians Shire Mayor Tony Driscoll said the announcement was a bonus for the region.
“The Frew Group is an economic powerhouse for Stawell. It supplies jobs and knock-on for our rural community,” he said.
“A lot of our locally produced lambs are processed through Frew Group.”