Iconic Kawerau Tissue Paper site gets $60m expansion

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$60m investment secures NZ-made future for Kiwis’ favourite tissues

A $60 million expansion of the SCA Kawerau Tissue site was officially opened by Prime Minister John Key on January 30, marking a new era for the iconic Bay of Plenty facility. President of SCA Hygiene Australasia (SCA HA), Peter Diplaris says the expansion will secure a Kiwi-made future for the nation’s favourite brands of toilet and towel tissue, and boost local exports of some products.

“Kiwis who have grown up with household names such as Purex and Handee as well as professional hygiene brands such as Tork, can feel good knowing the tissues are Kiwi-made under the highest quality standards

while utilising the renewable forestry stocks of the Bay of Plenty and sustaining more than 200 jobs here in Kawerau,” Mr Diplaris says.

The expansion includes a new 13,000 sqm tissue conversion hall, a 55-metre long state-of-the art Italian made tissue winding machine and robotised packing and dispatch.

This is a major strategic investment for the Australasian company, a joint venture of Swedish-based SCA, a global paper and hygiene company, and PEP, a leading Australian private equity fund with expertise in

the FMCG sector.

“This expansion secures a long term future for our Kawerau site as the sustainable supplier for the New Zealand and Australian markets. It also confirms the site’s significant export role with an estimated 2,600 containers of product exported through the Port of Tauranga each year,” Mr Diplaris says.

Total output from the site will initially increase by the equivalent of 66 40-foot containers each week with a further 11 Iconic Kawerau Tissue Paper site gets $60m expansion $60m investment secures NZ-made future for Kiwis’ favourite tissues per week to be added from the 2015 year onwards. The increased efficiency of the Kawerau site will add to the significant gains made in sustainability over recent years.

In 2009, the site converted its steam heat source for its papermaking process from steam generated by natural gas-fired boiler to geothermal steam in a ground-breaking partnership with the Ngati Tuwharetoa

iwi, contributing to a 45 percent reduction in annual total CO2 emissions since the changeover to geothermal steam.

Mr Diplaris says that the skilled, knowledgeable and committed local workforce was a further factor in the company’s decision to invest in the Kawerau facility.

“I wish to pay particular tribute to the project team, site employees and the army of local and international suppliers. We have kept everyone safe through more than 175,000 hours of work while also delivering this major undertaking on time and on budget.”

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