German independent lubricant manufacturer Fuchs Petrolub SE has opened its new AUD 33 million (USD 26 million) lubricant blending plant in Beresfield, New South Wales, Australia, one of its top five markets.
Producing about 10,000 lubricant products for industries ranging from mining and automotive to transport and food, Fuchs Lubricants (Australasia) Pty Ltd has been operating in the Hunter Valley region since 1991, when it opened a factory in Wickham. Fuchs Australia moved production from Wickham, which it had outgrown, to the 2,500 m2 greenfield site in Beresfield, to be able to expand its production capacity. The Beresfield site was chosen for its proximity to all major connecting highways, while being close enough to the Wickham site, so that current employees could continue to work at the new plant.
Fuchs has more than 50 companies and 34 manufacturing plants globally, and the move to relocate to Beresfield, about three times bigger than the old site, was preempted by the Wickham plant no longer meeting the company’s technical standards.
Fuchs Deputy Managing Director Stewart Knight said choosing the Beresfield site had enabled the company to purpose-built its plant, which has two state-of-the-art research laboratories.
While mining is the company’s biggest business unit, Knight said it had a balanced portfolio and five sales divisions, which had allowed it to weather the downturn in the mining sector.
“Mining has lots of opportunities given the size of the market and the automotive sector and from our perspective, our market share is one where we continue to grow,” said Knight. Products being sold in Australia are produced in the Beresfield plant and a second plant in Melbourne.
Knight said the employee headcount in Beresfield is the same as the old Wickham plant, despite the larger size, but there is more focus on “continuous improvement, maintenance and systems.”