Asahi Beverages has made a $55million investment in an upgraded manufacturing site outside Ipswich in South-East Queensland.
It brings Asahi’s investment in the beverages plant to around $100million in the past five years.
The Asahi plant in Wulkuraka will now produce a 300 million litres of non-alcoholic beverages each year. Schweppes, Solo and Pepsi Max are already made at the site, with the new upgrade meaning other beverages will be produced there too including Cool Ridge water, Lipton Iced Tea and Pop Tops juice.
The upgraded plant was officially opened by 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: “Our $55million investment has created a world-class Queensland manufacturing site. It has also nearly doubled the sites annual production capacity to 300m litres. It shows Asahi Beverages’ confidence in the long-term future of manufacturing in Australia and in Queensland specifically.
“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. 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 upgrade includes two new bottling lines and a 39-metre-high warehouse from where drinks are transported across Australia. The facility will operate 24/7.
Iervasi added: “This upgrade brings the number of quality full-time manufacturing jobs at Wulkuraka to around 130, with more than a dozen new full-time jobs created. Our investment at the site to around $100 million in the past five years. In addition to new jobs within the facility, more than 170 jobs were created during construction with dozens of Queensland companies involved.
“We are unbelievably proud of this new facility, the many Asahi employees who made it happen and the jobs we provide in Wulkuraka and other parts of Queensland.”