Oji's $100 Million Christchurch Investment On Track
Oji Fibre Solutions (OjiFS) today announced it’s $100 million packaging facility is on-track for completion in October 2021. The modern cardboard box plant development in Establishment Drive, Christchurch will replace the existing operations in Shands Road, Hornby and will secure more than 75 long-term jobs in Christchurch.
OjiFS’ Chief Operating Officer of Packaging, Grant Fitzgibbon said, “Today we told our employees we will be moving to the new modern site in October 2021. This is a big milestone, and we are pleased the project is continuing as planned because there have been many challenges, not the least being disruptions caused by COVID-19.”
The new facility, being built by local Christchurch company Calder Stewart, will modernise OjiFS’s operations in Christchurch with a new site and a purpose-built factory, complete with state-of-the-art box-making and printing equipment. The current site, which is becoming uneconomic, will be decommissioned after the move. “The new facility will be more energy-efficient, a safer, nicer place to work, and will ensure we can meet our customers’ needs both now and into the future” said Mr Fitzgibbon. He also said the project will allow OjiFS to continue to operate in the South Island. “The project will secure 75 direct jobs in our Christchurch facility and allow us to continue to provide work for a huge number of suppliers and contractors in the Canterbury region” he said.
Being a new, modern facility, the investment will also provide more automation which will reduce manual handling and support a safer work site. With this automation the new site is more labour efficient, and Mr Fitzgibbon said the Company is working with any affected employees and their representatives on redeployment and voluntary redundancy options.
“The development is estimated to create 390 construction-rated jobs for Christchurch and there is already over 150 on site, it will also give us a good base for potential growth in the future; putting Oji Fibre Solutions in a strong position to continue to provide sustainable packaging products to all South Island industry sectors” said Mr Fitzgibbon.
The announcement follows several recent large-scale investments by Oji Fibre Solutions in New Zealand in recent years, including a planned $200M upgrade to the Kinleith Mill wastewater treatment systems, which received resource consents in early April, and a $63M transformation of Tasman Mill, near Kawerau.