Opal, a part of the Nippon Paper Group, will build a high-speed regional cardboard packaging manufacturing facility in the town of Barnawartha in Victoria, Australia, with more than A$140m ($93.3m) investment.
The state government of Victoria will support the development of the new manufacturing facility, which will allow the company to serve growing markets and cater to increasing customers’ demands. It will be in tandem with the company’s circular economy approach and vision to drive growth in sustainable fibre packaging.
Expected to begin production in October 2023, the new facility will create up to 195 jobs in Victoria during the first stage of its construction. Stage one will generate 432 jobs in the region once the facility is operational. The site will be expanded in the next stage to increase the facility’s manufacturing capacity.
The plant will be capable of manufacturing up to 720,000 square metres (m) of packaging board a day at its full capacity, which is equivalent to approximately 400 tonnes (t) of completed corrugated boxes.
The new manufacturing facility will be located at the Logic Wodonga industrial estate in Barnawartha. The estate lies between Sydney and Melbourne on the Hume Freeway, a premium freight corridor in Australia.
The central location of Wodonga in eastern Australia and increasing consumer demand for recyclable packaging made it a preferable location for the new facility.
The project will be benefitted from the industrial estate’s existing infrastructure and services and skilled regional workforce.
Opal Group’s new manufacturing facility details
The state-of-the-art cardboard packaging manufacturing facility will be built on a total area of 55,000m². More than 260 containers of state-of-the-art equipment was received at the site for installation, which began in April 2023.
The first stage entails the construction of a highly automated, sophisticated manufacturing facility on a 47,000m² site. The plant’s capacity will be increased in the second stage, using emerging technologies to meet the future demand growth.
To be integrated with advanced manufacturing and supply chain capabilities, the facility will employ recycled and recyclable paper sourced from Opal’s Maryvale Mill in the Latrobe Valley and Botany Mill in Sydney to manufacture sustainable packaging.
It will manufacture high-quality corrugated cardboard packaging to use in a variety of fresh produce, food processing, fast moving consumer goods, and manufacturing industries in Australia.
The manufacturing facility will be designed with solar energy generation and water harvesting capabilities installed on the facility’s 41,000m² roof surface.
Opal Group’s paper and packaging products
Opal offers innovative packaging solutions, paper and board products, as well as office and home products. It offers a range of corrugated boxes, solid board folding cartons, bags and sacks, and other sustainable packaging solutions.
Opal supplies recycled containerboard, packaging papers and boards, coatings and laminations, and printing and inkjet paper under its paper and board category.
It is the only Australian manufacturer of copy paper that includes the Reflex brand. It also produces envelopes, stationery and playing cards under its Olympic, Tudor and Queen’s Slipper brand portfolio.
Marketing commentary on Opal Group
Opal Group is a paper and fibre packaging manufacturing company based in Australia and with operations in Australia and New Zealand.
The company has more than 80 operating sites, exports to more than 70 countries and employs over 4,000 employees globally. It produces a wide range of recycled products from its Maryvale and Botany operations in Australia for the Australian and New Zealand markets.
The Maryvale mill manufactures about 600,000t of paper and boards a year. It also operates a brown waste plant that processes approximately 20,000t of used cardboard a year.
The state-of-the-art recycling and manufacturing facility in Botany, New South Wales, converts more than 450,000t of used cardboard into 100% recycled brown packaging paper annually.
The Maryvale and Botany operations recycle approximately 530,000t of used cardboard and wastepaper a year, diverting waste from Australian landfills and supporting the circular economy.
The company also operates several packaging divisions, including Opal Converting Group, Opal Fibre Packaging, Opal Kiwi Packaging, and Opal Specialty Packaging.
Opal holds Forest Stewardship Council certification and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification through non-profit Responsible Wood. The certifications indicate the company’s responsible forestry practices, as well as a transparent and traceable fibre supply chain.