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Oji Fibre Solutions will invest around $100m towards a new automated cardboard box plant development in Christchurch, which will replace its existing operation.

The development will include the latest equipment to produce sustainable packaging products for the South Island primary produce sectors. Oji Fibre Solutions (OjiFS) aims to complete the project in 2021.

Grant Fitzgibbon, chief operating officer of Packaging at OjiFS, said, “We are delighted with this decision, it is a significant investment and will modernise our operations. The new facility will replace the existing Shands Road operation with a purpose-built building, state of the art box-making and printing equipment, and more automation.”

According to OjiFS the investment will achieve a more energy-efficient and sustainable operation providing for organic growth in production and allows the company to continue to operate from Christchurch.

“We will purchase the land and plan to decommission the Shands Road operation as we move into the new site. A small amount of equipment will be transferred to the new site and we will end our lease of the old premises when the project is complete” said Fitzgibbon.

The company believes the development will put it in a strong position for growth of the South Island primary sector in the coming years.

The investment in the new plant is the latest in a line of several large-scale investments by Oji Fibre Solutions in New Zealand and Australia in recent years, including a proposed $100m upgrade to the Kinleith Mill wastewater treatment systems, the recent $63m transformation of Tasman Mill, a $70m new box plant in Yatala, Queensland and a $30m upgrade of the Paper Bag plant in Auckland.

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