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Government of South Australia - Department of State Development


    Nation’s largest bottle manufacturing plant set to deliver significant energy savings

    The Orora glass bottle manufacturing plant in Gawler is implementing two new projects, in partnership with Origin Energy, under the South Australian Government’s Retailer Energy Productivity Scheme (REPS).

    Orora employs nearly 400 people in the state, manufacturing a range of wine, spirit and beer bottles using raw materials and recycled glass.

    Its $25 million beneficiation plant, which opened in Gawler in 2022, is the largest of its kind in Australia and one of the top ten globally.

    The plant crushes, cleans and sorts recycling glass collected through South Australia’s and Western Australia’s container deposit schemes, sorting the glass into what is known as ‘cullet’. Cullet has a lower melting point than the raw materials of silica, limestone and soda ash traditionally used in glassmaking, reducing energy use and diverting glass from landfill.

    To meet its sustainability goal to increase the proportion of cullet from 38 per cent to more than 60 per cent, Orora needs to source more glass from recycling schemes. The first REPS initiative will enable Orora to develop supply lines to receive glass from container schemes in regional NSW, Queensland and the ACT, followed by the new schemes being introduced in Victoria and Tasmania.

    Under the second REPS initiative, Orora is upgrading one of its furnaces to a more efficient, oxygen-fuelled technology, which is anticipated to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 20 per cent and earn it a place in the top 10 per cent of energy efficient furnaces in the world.

    Together, these two projects are expected to reduce energy use by 1.8 million gigajoules – the universal measurement of energy – representing savings of between $16-18 million over 10 years.

    While the REPS primarily assists low-income households to invest in energy-efficient appliances, or businesses to upgrade premises with better lighting or insulation, recent changes to eligibility requirements make Orora the first large-scale manufacturer in South Australia to initiate projects under the scheme.

    Reducing energy consumption and lowering emissions, improving productivity, and being more environmentally friendly will give this South Australian manufacturing plant a competitive edge, which stands to benefit the state as a whole.

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