Rheem to close factory at Welshpool, cut 100 jobs

Rheem
will make approximately 100 jobs redundant as it ends solar water heater manufacturing
operations in Welshpool late next year.

The
ABC reported Thursday afternoon that 100 out of 150 positions would go, with
the jobs remaining in sales and service.

The
company has blamed factors including the high Australian dollar, as well as
inconsistency around regulations at state and federal levels.

Rheem CEO Matt Sexton told the ABC that the decision assumes that policy settings
will remain as they are, including around the Renewable Energy Target
(currently under review).

“This also
includes an assumption that the RET will survive,”
he said.

The company’s spokesman Gareth Jennings told the West Australian, “The market for solar
heaters globally and domestically has undergone many ups and downs lately and
we can’t justify a stand-alone factory in WA any more,”

The
company will close the factory in late-2015, and the sales and admin roles will
be shifted to NSW, along with solar heater production.

Rheem
will invest $60 million in upgrading sites at Rydalmere and Liverpool in NSW
and at Moorabbin in Vitcoria. These sites would handle what was produced at Welshpool,
according to the West Australian.

This follows the announcement in February that Rheem would close its local air conditioning business, Accent Air, which operated out of Liverpool.

Rheem Manufacturing Co (Australia) began in
Australia in 1937 and its brands include Solahart, Everhot and Vulcan.

Image: fsr.cvmail.com.au