Seeley International continues to ‘buck the trend’ of the Australian manufacturing sector by announcing expansion plans which will see its existing Albury manufacturing plant relocate to a larger $20m purpose-built facility to be constructed at nearby Wodonga.
Seeley International founder and Executive Chairman, Frank Seeley AM FAICD, said the exciting move, which is to be part-funded by a grant from the Victorian Premier’s Job and Investment Fund, would establish a state-of-the-art manufacturing hub which will produce a range of innovative products to be sold in Australian and international markets.
“As a long-standing employer within the Albury-Wodonga community, Seeley International is pleased that this investment accommodates our expansion needs and positions the Company for significant jobs growth and success in the years ahead – with 64% forecast growth in new local employment opportunities expected to be created in the next 5 years,” Seeley said.
“Our local manufacturing facility continues to play a critical role in our overall operations, and as well as continuing to fully manufacture award-winning Braemar heating products, the Climate Wizard metal range and the entire AIRA product range, we have also recently welcomed a dozen new engineers and other team members to the plant,” he said.
“One of the biggest challenges we now face is that we have outgrown the existing factory, and with space at a premium it has fast-tracked the need for relocation plans. Establishing a new and larger facility at nearby Wodonga allows us to retain and grow local employee numbers and maintain a strong employer presence within the local community.”
In acknowledging the grant contribution of the Victorian government, Seeley said it was critical that all levels of government assist manufacturers to develop new products, and support expansion of production facilities.
“Seeley International continues to commit high annual expenditure on research and development of new manufacturing techniques, and to create innovative products that are the most energy efficient, necessitating state-of-the-art facilities to enable this to happen,” Mr Seeley said.
“Seeley International is living proof that there is a bright future for the Australian manufacturing industry, and we have been able to compensate for the higher costs within Australia by focusing on innovation, world class technology and high levels of automation, while many others are closing doors or downsizing,” he said.
“Seeley International is bucking the trend and is starting to ramp up employment growth at our Albury manufacturing plant which is expected to grow over the coming months,” added Mr Seeley.
“As the home of Braemar gas heaters and air-conditioners, our Albury-based plant has established a vertically integrated manufacturing and assembly operation that employs more than 80 permanent people. As well as being a major employer in the region and supporting a number of worthwhile local causes for more than 20 years, we look forward to the area’s economy also reaping the flow-on benefits that will come with our new location and expanded workforce.”
Independent testimony of the calibre of Seeley International’s operations is the standout success story at the prestigious 2017 Albury Wodonga Business Awards. Seeley International was announced a winner of both the Excellence in Innovation and Most Outstanding Medium/Large business categories at the awards gala event on Friday, 14th July.
While a construction site and plans are yet to be finalised, Seeley International says the new Wodonga manufacturing facility will be operational early in 2019.