Second factory for AgBiTech as global demand soars
AgBiTech is opening a second manufacturing plant in Toowoomba, Queensland, to meet international demand for its baculovirus-based insect control products.
The new plant will complete a multi-million dollar expansion program by AgBiTech to increase its production capacity by 30-fold.
By mid-2014, the company will be in a position to supply agricultural markets worldwide with its lead product, a biological control for the key insect pest, Helicoverpa, according to AgBiTech CEO Anthony Hawes.
“AgBiTech is in a rapid expansion phase,” said Mr Hawes.
“The company is preparing for a 2014 entry in the North American markets and a possible 2015 entry into significant European markets,” he said.
“At the same time, we’re also experiencing heavy demand for our product in Brazil, following a devastating outbreak of Helicoverpa, which cost the country $5 billion in the 2012/13 season.
“A Brazilian Government emergency permit allowed AgBiTech to accelerate its entry into the market and performance of our product has been very good so far.”
In addition, AgBiTech is also looking to expand its product range to include solutions for other major field crop insect pests. The company recently opened a research laboratory in the United States of America to fast track development of its product pipeline.
AgBiTech’s second manufacturing plant begins operating on 1 November 2013 and is expected to be fully operational by January 2014. The facility is located close to the company’s headquarters in Toowoomba and increases its existing manufacturing floor space from 1000 m2 to 3600 m2.
The new plant will include advancements to AgBiTech’s highly specialised proprietary technology, which is designed to further increase AgBiTech’s manufacturing efficiency while still maintaining high quality production.
“Importantly, this means AgBiTech can keep its products highly competitive in field crops, where cost effective options for integrated pest management are needed,” said Mr Hawes.
To cater for the expansion in production, AgBiTech will increase its staff to 31 in the first quarter of 2014, up from nine at the beginning of 2013.