An Australian plastics manufacturer looking to establish a new plant has been won over by the Tauranga business case and will be setting up in Mount Maunganui soon.
Based in Yatala, south of Brisbane, FSP Holdings uses the manufacturing process of rotational moulding to produce plastic lockers, fire safety products and mining equipment which are then exported around the world.
With expansion in mind, the company last year started analysing the comparative merits of Indonesia, Thailand and New Zealand as possible sites for the relocation of its main production plant.
Competitive manufacturing costs, accessibility and frequency of import and export services, and the availability of skilled labour saw New Zealand emerge as the most attractive location of the three, FSP business development manager Kevin Voss said.
"Once we settled on New Zealand, we looked at Auckland, Wellington and Tauranga as potential manufacturing sites, as close proximity to a major port was the most important aspect in our decision making."
During the deliberations, Mr Voss made contact with Andrew Coker of Priority One who put the FSP manager in touch with a range of business service providers.
"Discussions with Priority One really confirmed our feeling that Tauranga had more advantages for our business than other locations we were considering and gave us the confidence to move forward quickly," Mr Voss said.
"The deciding factor for us really was the Port of Tauranga. They offered a frequency of service to and from Australian and international ports that we just couldn't get from other New Zealand ports.
"With advice from Priority One and Colliers International, we were able to find a site in Tauranga that suited our purpose in close proximity to the port with all available services, providing savings on transportation and logistics."
Colliers International sales specialist Rob Schoeser said the 4200sq m site was previously occupied by Sportscraft Boats, which had moved further down Hewletts Rd.
The fact that the site was close to the port, able to be connected to the gas line, and had plenty of room on-site for trucks to load and unload containers were all favourable factors for FSP.
The property was "realistically priced" and FSP had signed a medium-term lease, he said.
FSP plans to have its Hewletts Rd plant operational by August and will initially employ 20 people.
The plant will be the company's major cabinet/locker plant for the global market, which accounts for 60-70 per cent of FSP's business.
Once fully operational, the plant will receive raw material shipments from Melbourne four times a week and will export at least two 40ft containers a day.