Nestlé Australia has unveiled the first stage of an A$9.5m (US$8.6m) expansion at its factory in Papua New Guinea, a project that will create an additional 75 jobs.
The project includes new production equipment at the company’s factory in Lae to meet increasing local demand for its products, particularly Maggi noodles and Maggi bouillon.
Regional executive vice-president Nandu Nandkishore, who has been in Lae as part of a visit to the Nestlé’s Papua New Guinea and Australia territory, said the investment signalled a long-standing commitment to the country.
“Nestlé has been operating in this country for more than three decades and our commitment goes well beyond the manufacturing of nutritious products,” said Nandkishore.
“We also support the PNG economy by sourcing a substantial amount of raw materials locally as well as implementing agricultural programs to support, encourage and train local farmers, particularly in the growing of coffee for our Nescafé Plan.”
The company’s country manager, Eugene David, said the investment would create a platform for innovation.
“Nestlé PNG already produces a range of fortified products specifically tailored to the needs of Papua New Guineans and this investment will allow us to increase our offering,” he said.
“This expansion is very significant as it will allow us to keep on providing quality products on state-of-the-art equipment as well as more jobs.”
The installation of the new equipment, sourced largely from Europe, is expected to see the amount of product manufactured increase by 30%.
The last major upgrade at the factory was 14 years ago when the outgoing noodle line was installed.