We are planning to invest nearly €30 million in factories in Australia as part of a major investment drive to modernise and extend our manufacturing operations to meet local customers’ needs.

The investment plans are fully aligned with our strategic aim to foster the continued organic growth of our businesses across the world, even in a challenging economic environment.

We are constructing a new manufacturing unit close to our current Toowoomba plant, near Brisbane, which serves northern New South Wales and Queensland. The plant will bring a series of production lines on stream from the third quarter of 2024.

Our vision is to turn the new plant Toowoomba 2 (T2) into a hub for sustainability focusing on the manufacture of stormwater solutions, including our large diameter twin wall stormwater systems and our range of smaller diameter land drainage products.

These solutions address the heightened focus in Australia on infrastructure renewal, more effective storm and flood management and more effective agricultural drainage.

Our STORMFLO® drainage product will be one of the solutions manufactured at the new site. It was launched two years ago and is gaining increasing traction with customers.

These polyethylene systems (PE), aimed at the infrastructure and agricultural markets, are designed to replace traditional drainage systems made from less sustainable materials, such as concrete.

They can be made with high levels of recycled plastic and are fully recyclable at the end of their lives, vastly reducing their environmental impact. T2, where we plan to invest an estimated €14 million, will be fitted with equipment to recycle large volumes of recyclate.

Meanwhile the existing Toowoomba plant (T1) continues to play an important role in supplying infrastructure, agriculture, and energy customers in and around Australia’s Gold Coast, an area expected to see significant building activity and infrastructure upgrades in the coming years in preparation for the 2032 Olympic Games (also known as Brisbane 2032).

Vinidex has excellent coverage to serve customers along the east coast with Toowoomba sitting between our Townsville plant further north and our Sydney factory to the south.

Work to transform Philmac’s North Plymptom plant in Adelaide into a true factory of the future continued with early stages completed during 2023. It is on course to be fully operational by 2025.

We’re investing another €14 million in the project – the biggest single investment in Philmac’s facilities since the creation of the company in 1929. It will provide a world-class manufacturing facility to support Philmac’s growing global markets.

In the first phase of the project, completed in 2023, the upgraded plant has been equipped with additional automated assembly cells, bringing the total level of automated assembly to more than 90% of all products. In the next phase the plant will have an automated storage and retrieval warehouse and a large fleet of autonomous mobile vehicles to improve material flow around the plant and improve safety.

Philmac’s range is made up of compression fittings to join PE pipes and valves, principally aimed at the building and agriculture sectors. Around 40% of its products are exported around the world, including to our businesses in the US and UK.

Through the Philmac investment we will extend the factory’s footprint, increasing capacity by 40%, and introduce a range of new technologies that will lift automation to the highest levels in Aliaxis.