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New Zealand Prime Minister Opens New Glassmaking Furnace

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key today officially opened O-I New Zealand's new US$85 million glassmaking furnace to support the country's renowned beer and wine industries.

O-I NZ is New Zealand's only local glass packaging manufacturer and has been supplying the local food and beverage industries since 1922. The investment at O-I NZ's Auckland plant created 38 new jobs and will increase manufacturing output by 90,000 tonnes of glass packaging per annum.

The new furnace also will enable O-I NZ to almost double its recycling of post-consumer glass - called cullet - from 84,000 to 154,000 tonnes per annum. This provides a significant reduction in carbon emissions and waste going to landfill.

O-I NZ General Manager Steve Bramlage said the new furnace would increase the availability of locally made glass packaging, ensure security of supply and provide shorter lead times and freight efficiencies for customers.

"O-I's new furnace uses the latest global glass manufacturing technologies to produce quality glass packaging to meet the short-term and long-term needs and expectations of our customers, as well as New Zealand consumers," said Bramlage. "The new furnace uses narrow neck press and blow technology to further lightweight bottles, providing a significant reduction in energy use, while maintaining bottle proportions and premium design cues. This significant investment in our Auckland plant highlights our commitment to supporting the future growth of New Zealand's food and beverage industries."

O-I New Zealand Facts

  • Since 1922, O-I's Auckland plant in Penrose has been supporting the local food and beverage industries - particularly New Zealand's renowned wine industry.
  • Today, the plant employs approximately 240 people and consists of three furnaces and six production lines.
  • Without O-I NZ, there would be very limited recycling options for waste glass, and the majority of it would ultimately end up in landfills.
  • O-I's use of recycled content in New Zealand averages at approximately 60 percent. For the green colours used by the wine industry, recycled content often reaches 70 percent. O-I is proud of the company's ongoing recycling work with governments and councils.
  • O-I NZ uses electricity that is largely derived from renewable energy sources, predominately hydro and geothermal sources. This level of renewable energy is not easily matched by most other countries in the world.
  • O-I NZ offers a wide range of wine bottles with a variety of weights and colours, allowing individual brand owners to choose the most appropriate locally made package for their intended market.