Meat processing site invests in the latest technology

A new meat processing facility in Heathwood, south of Brisbane, will utilise the latest robotic systems to package meat and vegan products.

The Hilton Foods Australia (HFA) facility, costing $280 million, will employ 650 people when it is at full production in 2020.

Across 23 production lines, the local workforce will provide the skills to operate the plant.

“This is one of the most innovative facilities of its kind in the world and a real showpiece of advanced food manufacturing in Queensland,” said Queensland Minister for State Development and Manufacturing, Cameron Dick.

“Brisbane’s central location, excellent transport network and Queensland’s highly trained workforce were all factors in HFA’s decision to bring their operations to Heathwood.”

In addition to the production facilities, the factory will also include 6,000 solar panels which is the second largest rooftop photovoltaic solar installation in Australia, according to Queensland Minister for Environment, Leeanne Enoch. The panels will provide 2,800MWhs a year, covering 50 per cent of the plant’s energy needs. In addition, and automated heat recovery system will heat 100,000L of water a day, utilising the energy produced by the site’s refrigeration compressors. This method will save 170MWh of energy per year.

“This facility is not only setting new sustainable building standards but is bringing jobs to our region with potential for more, which is fantastic.”

The products will be sold at Woolworths stores nationally, and HFA CEO, Pat McEntee, highlighted that the production systems will improve the quality of the final product.

“We value our partnership with Woolworths and look forward to assisting in developing a faster and fresher supply of high-quality meat and value-added products.”

Support in the form of facilitation services came from the Queensland government, as well as the Brisbane City Council.