The ribbon was cut on Friday on plant upgrades totalling $55 million at Asahi Beverages’ Wulkuraka in southeast Queensland, where the investment has created “more than a dozen” jobs, according to the company.
The upgrades at the factory, which operates 24 hours a day, include two new bottling lines and a 39-metre-high warehouse, and brought capacity to 300 million litres a year.
Attending the event were Atsushi Katsuki, global President and CEO of Asahi Group Holdings, Roland van Bommel, Chairman of Asahi Holdings Australia, and Robert Iervasi, Asahi Beverages Group CEO.
Iervasi said in a statement that the investment showed the company’s confidence in the long-term future in manufacturing within Australia.
“Perhaps the upgrade’s most exciting part is the new hot-fill and blow-fill line, which will make Lipton Iced Tea and Pop Tops. The line’s innovative design means these drinks will be made without preservatives and using bottles inflated on-site from small pieces of preformed plastic,” he said.
“These are more sustainable than pre-inflated bottles because many more can be delivered to site per truckload – significantly reducing truck trips and carbon emissions.
“This will help Asahi Beverages reach its sustainability goal of reducing Scope 3 carbon emissions across its entire supply chain by 30 per cent by 2030. Asahi Beverages will also reduce carbon emissions in its operations by 50% by 2025.”
The site has produced soft drinks including Schweppes, Pepsi Max and Solo, and can now also make Cool Ridge water, Lipton Iced Tea and Pop Tops juices.
Iervasi said the company had invested a total of $100 million at the site in the last five years.
“More than a dozen new jobs” were added with the most recent upgrade, bringing headcount to 130, plus over 170 jobs during construction.
Picture: Image credit www.yourneighbourhood.com.au
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