Jamestrong Packaging is set to expand its Taree, NSW facility with a new aluminium casting line to produce slugs used in the manufacture of aerosol cans.
The new casting facility will enable Jamestrong Packaging – a leading aerosol and food can manufacturer in Australasia – to ramp up local production to meet increasing demand for its products, while also creating local jobs.
Jamestrong has seven manufacturing plants at key locations in NSW, Victoria and New Zealand.
The Taree facility, which in 2021 marked a 30-year and 2.7bn-can production milestone, employs 70 full-time staff, with the expansion set to add 30 jobs during the construction phase, and 12 ongoing jobs.
Jamestrong CEO Alex Commins said, “As one of the largest employers in Taree, Jamestrong is looking to bolster our existing aerosol can manufacturing operation, by reshoring manufacturing capabilities and creating jobs.”
Commins told PKN the new casting facility will have the capacity to produce 160 million slugs a year which will meet the plant’s current production output of 100 million cans a year. The plan is for the new line to be commissioned by October 2023.
“Having our own casting line will resolve supply chain challenges, but more importantly, it reduces the lead time for customers from four months to less than four weeks,” Commins said.
“This improves our ability to respond quickly to our customers' opportunities in the market. It also removes over 11,000 sea miles of carbon footprint, and gives us the option to use Australian-made low carbon aluminium ingot.”
Commenting on growth in demand for aluminium aerosols, Commins said the growth is largely organic, with exports having seen a decline during Covid.
“Aluminium aerosol cans offer a higher level of customisable shapes and decoration to support a product's marketing message compared to other dispensing systems, especially valuable for cosmetic, therapeutic and personal care products,” he said.
The new casting facility is to be installed in existing buildings adjacent to the can making plant. The space currently used for imported slug storage will be utilised for slug manufacturing.
This major engineering project will include civil works to build special foundations for the line, which comprises a furnace, continuous casting machine, hot rolling mills, cold rolling mills, stamping, rumbling and annealing machines.
The installation will include imported and locally manufactured equipment, with the furnace built in Turkey, the Hazellett continuous casting system and rolling mills from the USA, while the rumbler and annealer will be custom-built locally.
Jamestrong's investment in the new casting line and plant upgrade will be supplemented by a $240K grant coming from the NSW Government’s Regional Job Creation Fund.
Commins said,“Jamestrong is investing in excess of $6 million to build the new casting facility and we welcome the NSW Government support and contribution to the project.”
Joining Commins to make the announcement about the grant, NSW Parliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Premier and for Regional Jobs and Investment, Gurmesh Singh, said setting businesses up for success supports the local economy and creates more jobs.
Singh said, “This new casting [line] will help Jamestrong Packaging ramp up local production to meet increasing market demand for its products whilst maintaining a reputation as one of Australia’s top manufacturers of high standard innovative packaging.”
The NSW Government’s $140 million Regional Job Creation Fund aims to create more than 7000 new jobs in regional NSW by helping businesses to fast track their growth plans, expand their operations and create a solid base for job creation now and into the future. It supports eligible businesses with grants to purchase new equipment, expand facilities, acquire technology, create new production lines or establish businesses in regional NSW.