Construction of a $75 million manufacturing facility at Investa Property Group’s Swanbank Enterprise Park has commenced, signalling a boon for the region given the increasing shift towards offshore manufacturing.

Swiss-based company, Holcim, awarded the construction contract to Brisbane-based FDC Group to build the new plant on a 15ha site, representing the largest manufacturing facility of pre-cast product in Queensland.

The construction program will deliver a major jobs boost to the Ipswich region, creating over 200 jobs over the next nine months. A further 140 jobs will roll out once the plant is operational in early 2014.

“An investment of this size by an international company like Holcim is hugely significant for the local economy and firmly puts Swanbank on the map as a prime industrial and manufacturing precinct,” said Investa Land QLD General Manager, Bruce Harper.

“Holcim was looking for a greenfield site on which to build its state-of-the-art flagship manufacturing facility, and the access and locational benefits of Swanbank, combined with the support of Ipswich City Council, ultimately led to them choosing Swanbank Industrial Precinct,” he said.

Investa purchased the 500-hectare site in 2006 and has worked closely with Ipswich City Council to implement a master plan and infrastructure agreements.

“Our intensive planning for this development is paying off and there is no doubt the support from Council through the planning and approvals processes has been invaluable in securing large, respected investors such as Holcim.”

Mr Harper said Swanbank Enterprise Park comprised 260 hectares of General Industry land, 40 hectares of Business Park land and 200 hectares of buffer.

FDC General Manager QLD, Matt Morton, applauded Investa for providing a new opportunity for local manufacturing and jobs.

“A lot of manufacturers are being pushed out of the traditional inner city industrial precincts due to noise and transport restrictions making it harder to operate,” Mr Morton said.

“As a local contractor, we are excited to be involved with building a facility of this size and bringing to life one of the largest industrial estates in the region.

“Holcim has a very strong focus on safety and we are proud that FDC was selected for our ability to meet their stringent criteria and to value engineer the project.”