Fresh from its official opening of a lubricants blending plant near Sydney, Fuchs Lubricants Australasia said it is also expanding its grease production plant in Melbourne to meet growing demand in the key mining, agricultural and commercial transport markets down under.
We are also upgrading our grease plant in Melbourne and expect that to be completed in July or August, Fuchs Lubricants Australasia Managing Director Wayne Hoiles told Lube Report Asia. He said it was the second upgrade in three years of its sole Australian-based grease plant.
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Fuchs Petrolub Chairman Stefan Fuchs visited earlier this month for the unveiling of the new lubricants plant at Beresfield, about two hours north of Sydney. Australia is an important market for Fuchs, he said in a press release. Fuchs Lubricants Australasia is a wholly-owned unit of German-based Fuchs Petrolub, the worlds largest independent lubricant producer.
The Beresfield plant will service clients and sites in New South Wales and Queensland states, and replaces an outdated facility at nearby Wickham. The groups Melbourne facilities, which include engine and gear oil production and warehouse operations, service the rest of Australia and New Zealand.
Hoiles said improving commodity prices over the past 18 months are driving increased activity in Australias mining sector, one of the worlds largest.
The new plant at Beresfield has the capacity to service the increasing production levels of the mining industry in Australia plus the capacity to supply any new business it gains from its competitors, Hoiles said.
The Beresfield plant houses lubricant manufacturing, storage of bulk raw material, warehousing of finished product, a laboratory and sales and customer service activities. The 25,000 square meter site is fully bunded to contain spillages. Solar power will provide as much as 30 percent of the facilities power needs. It has more than nine kilometers of stainless steel tubing to move lubricants around the site.
Fuchs officials said the company spent seven years developing the new plant. It was designed to be scaled up over time as only 70 percent of the land is currently developed. Future expansion may include production, storage and warehousing capacity. It will produce just under half of the Fuchs local production, Hoiles said, adding they expected that share to remain around 50 percent despite continued expansion of the Melbourne facilities.
Fuchs continues to increase its local manufacturing capacity as it continues to focus on growing its business in the Australasian region with over 95 percent of products produced locally, Hoiles said.