Asaleo Care has officially opened its $23 million equipment and manufacturing upgrade.
The launch was marked with a ceremony on Wednesdaym, attended by 150 guests and dignitaries to mark the next phase of growth for the Kawerau site and for the company.
The Kawerau investment was made to introduce a 109-metre long, US-made Forte converting equipment and new packaging equipment.
According to the company the new equipment will enable it to enhance its Tork product range, including adding new toilet roll products, making product design and quality improvements, and improving its packaging to reduce waste and increase functionality.
Sid Takla, Asaleo Care’s CEO and managing director, who was joined by Kawerau’s Mayor Malcolm Campbell in the opening ceremonies, said the company has invested in the future of New Zealand’s manufacturing sector, local jobs, businesses and economy and the Kawerau and Bay of Plenty communities.
“New Zealand is an attractive and compelling country to invest in, and with our well-established site, our hard-working and dedicated team, our strong, long-standing partnership with the Ngati Tuwharetoa iwi, there is no doubt – this is the right place to be for Tork’s next phase of growth.”
Tork provides products and services for the commercial, public, health care, food service and industrial sectors.
In addition to Tork, Kawerau site’s 200 employees manufacture toilet and facial tissue and paper towel brands including Purex, Sorbent and Handee.
The site, which has been operating for close to 65 years, is the only tissue paper producing plant in New Zealand and exports more than $120 million of products through the Port of Tauranga annually.
The site uses renewable energy from geothermal steam for its paper making process, reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 46 per cent.
Takla said “when combined with the benefits of our responsible forestry and sourcing, our ethical supply chain and our approach to human rights, our customers and consumers can be certain, Tork provides some of the most environmentally sound products and service available in New Zealand today.”
Installation and commissioning of the project was completed injury-free and on time, taking around 41,200 hours in total.
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