Frucor Suntory Queensland plant buys into green power

Article by Adam Duckett

An artist's impression of Frucor Suntory's Swanbank drinks factory

A NEW drinks manufacturing facility being built in Queensland, Australia will source all its electricity from renewable energy.

The greenfield Swanbank manufacturing facility, which is being built in the southeast city of Ipswich by Frucor Suntory, will be powered with 11 GWh of renewable energy bought under a deal from government-owned CleanCo.

The plant will process and package various brands of Frucor Suntory drinks including V energy drinks, Maximus sports drinks and Boss coffee. It will have the capacity to produce 20m cases of drink a year once it starts operation in 2024. The Japanese firm currently imports all the drinks it sells in Australia from New Zealand.

Mick de Brenni, Queensland government’s minister for energy, renewables and hydrogen, said: “Matched by our investments in renewable energy, we’re directly reducing embedded emissions in products manufactured in Queensland, meaning our industries remains highly competitive in the global marketplace and that equals job security.”

In June, the Queensland government said it would invest A$500m (US$321m) in renewable energy projects across the state as it seeks to develop up to 2.3 GW of new renewable energy projects and use wind and solar power to supply 70% of the region’s energy by 2032.

The A$400m Swanbank facility is the largest investment in the fast-moving consumer goods sector in Australia in the last decade and is expected to create 450 jobs during construction and 160 during operations.

In 2018, the state government set out a ten-year plan to invest in and attract advanced manufacturing, highlighting food and beverage processing as a key opportunity due to growing regional demand for clean and green products, and exports to Asia-Pacific’s growing middle class.

Article by Adam Duckett

Editor, The Chemical Engineer

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