Oji Fibre Solutions (Oji), a leading global producer of pulp, paper and fibre-based packaging, has chosen Yatala in South East Queensland as the location for its new $68 million manufacturing facility for corrugated packaging products.
‘Queensland is offering us a huge opportunity for the expansion of our packaging business here in Australia,’ says Dr Jon Ryder, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Oji Fibre Solutions. ‘Part of the reason we came to Queensland is the people, the employment base, the talent pool that we can tap into, and the central location to the client base that we [want] to grow with here in Queensland.’
The Queensland Government and Advance Queensland Industry Attraction Fund were instrumental in attracting the company to Yatala. Oji was the first company under the government’s new Industry Attraction Program to locate in Queensland and represents another corporate vote of confidence in Queensland. Minister for State Development Dr Anthony Lynham says the Palaszczuk Government’s success in luring a multinational company to set up shop in Queensland demonstrates the government’s commitment to jobs and economic growth.
This is echoed by Dr Ryder, who says: ‘The Queensland Government has been an absolutely tremendous help. They really are pro-business. They’re commercially astute [and] … the industry attraction program they put together has been fundamental in helping us select Queensland as the best destination for this factory.’
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says: ‘The Government’s incentive of returning payroll tax on new company employees for a period figured in Oji’s decision to site the new operation in Queensland rather than elsewhere in Australia or in Asia.’
Oji will use the latest manufacturing technology to supply packaging products to end-use markets in Queensland, northern New South Wales and the Northern Territory, particularly in the fruit and vegetable and meat segments. The plant will be fully functional by fourth quarter 2017 and housed in a 5/6 Green Star rated building that Oji expects will create 300 jobs during construction and about 50 jobs once complete.
Oji’s General Manager - Packaging Australia, Nicholas Molloy, says the construction and operation of the Yatala facility also creates significant opportunities for surrounding business such as electrical and plumbing services, engineering firms, parts manufacturers, accommodation providers and food suppliers.
‘If we use our Sydney and Melbourne operations as a guide, those businesses interact with up to 50 other businesses within their local areas, so we expect our Yatala operation will do likewise and be a huge support to the local municipality.’
The Yatala site was chosen due to its central location between Brisbane and the Gold Coast, and vicinity to key end-use markets. Yatala’s location is also attractive to potential employees and customers in South East Queensland and is less than five minutes from the M1 Pacific Motorway at the heart of key industrial production, warehousing and distribution hubs.
The 2.4 hectare building sits on 5.8 hectares of land, and its green credentials include a rainwater harvesting system which will reduce potable water consumption by 80 per cent; optimum energy efficiency including a 100kW Solar PV System, daylight sensors, and a lighting control system in the warehouse; and building construction per Environmentally Sustainable Design.
Dr Ryder expects Oji will also open two or three satellite distribution centers in regional Queensland to service the requirements of its customers. ‘If our current regional sites are a guide,’ says Molloy, ‘we would expect up to 10 employees at each regional location. There are freight jobs which also flow from this – both long haul and local freight utilising contracted logistics providers.’
Demand for Oji’s corrugated packaging is expected to grow fastest in Queensland, driven by long-term growth in horticulture and meat segments which are well suited to its paper and product specifications. Queensland is already the dominant corrugated container market in Australia for fruit and vegetables and meat.
Oji’s Yatala facility ‘confirms our commitment to grow our business in Australia and New Zealand,’ says Dr Ryder. ‘We believe there is opportunity to take advantage of the increasing demand for corrugated packaging in Queensland and the Yatala project fits our strategy to increase vertical integration across our pulp, paper and packaging businesses.’