SWIFT Australia officially opened its $22 million hide-salting facility in Ipswich yesterday – the biggest of its kind in Australia.
Built on the grounds of Swift’s existing Dinmore site, the new facility will employ more than 50 new staff and process up to 6000 hides a day.
Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale and Queensland Parliament speaker John Mickel joined Swift Australia officials and Wesley Batista, CEO of Swift’s parent company JBS, in opening the facility.
Swift Australia CEO Iain Mars said it was exciting for the company to open the site.
“Normally we’d be sending the hides overseas or somewhere else, so to be able to process the hides here we’re value-adding our product,” he said.
“Not only is it a great investment for the group nation-wide, but it’s great for Ipswich to have this state-of-the-art facility.”
Built in eight months, the modern-looking building reuses the salt and water used on site and utilises bio-filters to ensure no bad smells get outside the facility.
JBS CEO Wesley Batista, who came from America for the opening yesterday, said the hide-salting plant would play an important part in Swift Australia’s future.
He said the plant was just one of the $400 million worth of facilities his group had constructed in Australia since taking over Swift Australia in 2007.
“We’re still looking to grow the business in Australia – we see enormous potential for growth here,” he said.
Cr Pisasale said Swift Australia’s Dinmore plant pumped $2 million into the Ipswich economy weekly and was a great source of employment for the city.