AUSTRALIA – Australasia’s leading packaging and paper company, Opal is set to invest more than US$140 million to construct a high-speed regional manufacturing facility for cardboard packaging in Victoria.

According to the firm, the facility will be constructed in two phases and aligns with the firm’s vision of Opal shapes the future through sustainable packaging.

Stage one involves the construction of a 47,000m2 manufacturing facility with advanced automation at the Logic Wodonga industrial area in Barnawartha. Work on this stage is expected to commence in August 2022.

Once operational, the new Stage One facility will support 432 direct and flow-on workers. The Victorian government is providing support to secure job opportunities for regional Victoria.

The new plant will have four converting machines with printing, a combination of Bobst flexo folder gluers and Goepfert rotary die cutters with inline printing.

Stage Two will see the extension of the facility’s supply capacity to meet growth in demand, through emerging technologies.

The company currently runs litho and flexo printing at its existing plants, and has the country’s first EFI Nozomi digital high-speed, sheetfed, full-colour, carton printing line at its Oakleigh plant.

It already has the capability to deliver a range of solutions encompassing custom printed folding cartons and carton sleeves, quick-serve restaurant cartons, carry packs, facial tissue cartons, high-quality printed confectionery cartons and general retail folding cartons.

Its folding carton printing capabilities include graphic and pre-press design, flexo printing, and post-print and litho printing.

The new facility is a strategic investment by parent company Nippon Paper Group, enabling Opal to meet increasing market demand for corrugated cardboard packaging.

The total investment includes the cost of the land, facility construction, and the technology and equipment – a mix of locally and internationally sourced kit that will fit out the plant.

Opal CEO Matt Iizuka said: “Opal operates a fully integrated value chain in sustainable fibre packaging. The new facility will allow us to supply growing markets and better serve the developing needs of our customers.”

Opal Executive GM – Packaging, Chris Daly, said: “As a major manufacturer in Australia and New Zealand, Opal is committed to driving growth in sustainable packaging and this is an opportunity for the fibre division to lead this change.”

Opal was formerly the Australian paper and fibre packaging business of Orora, which sold it to Nippon Paper two years ago for $1.7 billion.

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