Victorian Government gives cash for Mars expansion

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 5th March 2013

The Victorian Liberal Coalition Government is contributing $2 million towards Mars Australia’s new expansion of its large manufacturing facility in Ballarat.

The Mars expansion, which will cost AU$52 million overall, and involves energy and water upgrades, such as pipe and plant insulation, stormwater capture and storage, wastewater treatment upgrades, refrigeration systems upgrades and installation of solar panels. The investment will ensure Mars Australia continues to manufacture Mars Bars, Snickers, M&Ms and other popular snack food products at its Ballarat plant.

“This significant new investment will generate more construction jobs in Ballarat and boost exports from regional Victoria,” said Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu. “More than 100 new jobs will be generated during the construction and fit-out stage, with many more existing full-time jobs now secure,” he said.

Premier Baillieu said the energy and water upgrades would reduce energy consumption at the plant by 29 per cent – the average energy use of about 950 houses in the State’s capital city, Melbourne.

“The Ballarat region is growing and the Coalition Government is keen to support businesses that underpin that growth and enhance Victoria’s reputation as a great place for commercial investment,” said Richard Dalla-Riva, Victorian Minister for Manufacturing, Exports and Trade.

“The Ballarat region is growing and the Coalition Government is keen to support businesses that underpin that growth and enhance Victoria’s reputation as a great place for commercial investment,” Mr Dalla-Riva said.

He said Mars has injected more than $145 million a year into the State’s economy and had the opportunity for further growth with this expansion.

Mars launched its operations in Australia in 1954 and is now the second-largest confectionery company in Australia, employing around 525 people and exporting to more than 30 countries in Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. It is well known for its chocolate production, but also has business segments for food, petcare and the chewing gum brand Wrigley.

Mars Australia says it is committed to sustainable infrastructure and practices like the ones the expansion in Ballarat will allow. It has operations in place at its other factories to reduce the company’s environmental impacts.

The company reports that Mars Petcare reduced its energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions across its four manufacturing sites by a quarter between 2006 and 2010, and its Wrigley site at Asquith, the Northern Sydney suburb, captures an annual volume of 3.6 million litres of rainwater, which is used for all onsite amenities, washrooms and cooling towers.

The latest good news from Mars in Victoria comes not long after Mars Australia had been cutting  jobs in the State last year.

Mars Australia will expand in Ballarat