Opal has officially opened its new $140 million corrugated cardboard packaging facility, in Wodonga, Victoria.
The 55,000-square-metre facility utilises high-speed packaging manufacturing technology, Opal says, and will make the boxes using recycled and kraft paper from Opal’s Botany Mill in Sydney and Maryvale Mill, in the Latrobe Valley.
The packaging will be used for fresh produce, food processing, FMCG, and other manufacturing industries across Australia.
Chris Daly, Opal’s Executive General Manager, Packaging, said it was appropriate Opal opened its new factory site during National Recycling Week.
“Our customers and the market are driving demand for cardboard packaging with recycled content, which in turn can be recycled when it has been used,” Daly said.
“Opal’s Wodonga corrugating facility will be able to produce up to 720,000 square metres of high quality, Australian made cardboard packaging per day. That equates to approximately 100,000 tonnes of finished corrugated packaging a year.
“We are delighted to share the official opening of Opal Fibre Packaging Wodonga with a number of key customers, representing some of Australia’s most recognised and iconic brands.”
The site also features water harvesting, solar panels on the facility roof, and a condensate recovery system allowing it to reuse steam during manufacturing, reducing its reliance on gas energy.
The factory was funded in part by the Victorian government, to help support regional jobs.
“Our support for Opal’s new $140 million investment in Wodonga is a huge vote of confidence for creating new jobs and doing business right here in regional Victoria,” Victorian minister for regional development Gayle Tierney said.
“We’re thrilled to extend our congratulations to Opal for the opening of its new world class site which firmly places Wodonga as a critical city for manufacturing, innovation and investment.”
The new factory comes as Opal ended all white pulp and paper manufacturing at its Maryvale site earlier this year, which also spelled the end for its iconic Reflex photocopy paper.
It came after the unplanned end of VicForests wood supply last year, which meant the site had insufficient wood to continue manufacturing white paper products.
Opal is part of the Japanese mega-conglomerate Nippon Paper Group, which is one of the world’s largest pulp and paper manufacturing companies.