Amcor has begun production and commercial supply of bottles at its new greenfield glass plant at Gawler near the Barossa Valley in South Australia.
Construction of the new A$140 million (€77.4m) facility by Leighton Contractors was completed on budget and five weeks ahead of schedule. It took 12 months to complete the project.
After a brief commissioning period, operation of the plant has now been handed over to Amcor Glass. Following successful testing and trialling, the first commercial deliveries of bottles to customers has occurred.
Russell Jones, Amcor's managing director, said: "We are extremely pleased with the smooth start-up of production at the Gawler plant. At this early stage, product quality has been excellent, allowing us to deliver bottles to customers a little earlier than expected."
The new plant incorporates a 196 square metre furnace, one of the largest dedicated wine bottle-making furnaces in the world.
Amcor Glass is currently producing around 600,000 bottles a day, which is in line with the plant's annual production capacity of over 200 million bottles. A selected range of bottle shapes and colours will be produced, targeted at the premium segment of the wine industry.
Amcor is supplying bottles to more than 15 wine companies including all the major wine groups. These customers are responsible for more than 90 per cent of the wine produced in Australia.
Amcor claimed that the investment demonstrates the company's confidence in the ongoing strong prospects of the Australian wine industry, particularly in relation to the export of premium quality wines.