On Friday 20 November 2015, in front of 150 of its leading distributors and customers James Hardie Australia officially opened its new fibre cement manufacturing plant at its Carole Park, Queensland facility.
Pictured above from left to right: James Hardie CEO Louis Gries, Asia Pac General Manager Conrad Groenewald, QLD State Manager Steve Pisani and Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale.
James Hardie believes a key benefit of the new facility for its customers will be greater certainty of supply, irrespective of any spikes in market demand. Prior to the construction of the new plant, which adds 40% more manufacturing capacity at the facility, James Hardie was importing products such as Axon™ cladding from its Auckland, New Zealand plant, at times impacting its ability to meet the level of service its customers had become accustomed to.
Customers can also expect improved product quality to flow from the new plant enabled by improved machine technology at what James Hardie is labelling as “the most advanced fibre cement manufacturing plant in the world.” James Hardie is promoting, in particular, the new plant’s ability to manufacture smoother and flatter fibre cement boards, with improved finishing and coating quality.
James Hardie attributes these improvements to the $30 to $35 million it invests annually in research and development to develop both new manufacturing technology and differentiated and innovative products. The new plant has also been designed with the lowest possible environmental footprint, ensuring the sustainability of the plant’s processes, and reductions in manufacturing waste.
James Hardie currently employs 540 people in its Australian business, of which 165 are employed at its Carole Park facility. It manufactures fibre cement products for internal and external building construction applications and was the exterior cladding of choice on approximately 20 per cent of new and renovated homes in Australia last year.