As many as 125 displaced manufacturing and car industry workers could be thrown an employment lifeline by Seeley International, as it plans to fast-track the development of a next-generation evaporative cooler and increase operations at its Lonsdale-based factory.
Seeley International Founder and Executive Chairman, Mr Frank Seeley AM FAICD, said several of the company’s development and expansion plans have been brought forward after receiving a grant of $5m, made available through the Federal Government’s Next Generation Manufacturing Investment Programme.
“Seeley International’s unwavering commitment to innovation allows us to have a project pipeline in place for over-the horizon technologies, and that approach is what ensures we remain the global market leader for advanced heating and cooling products,” Mr Seeley said.
“This grant, which Seeley International plans to match dollar for dollar, will be used to construct a $10m high-volume Climate Wizard / Coolerado heat exchanger and cooler production facility at our Lonsdale factory which will produce a domestic version of our multi-award winning commercial evaporative air conditioner,” he said.
“This announcement is great news for the South Australian economy, because it means that instead of Seeley International self-funding this over a much longer timeframe, we can use this grant as part of a significant capital injection to rapidly accelerate our plans and have this manufacturing facility operational by or before March 2018.”
Mr Seeley said the advanced skills needed to fill the various roles created by this expansion opportunity would be perfectly suited to vehicle manufacturing and defence industry workers left without jobs as a result of major downscaling in those sectors.
“At a time when South Australia is faced with the worst unemployment levels in the nation, and a constant stream of headlines about jobs being lost and more workers being made redundant, this is the perfect opportunity to show local manufacturers that all is not lost, and give workers an opportunity to transition their skills into new and emerging manufacturing opportunities,” Mr Seeley said.
“Indeed, Seeley International is living proof that there can be a bright future for the South Australian manufacturing industry provided company’s make a commitment to maximise, innovation, automation and acceleration as the new operation,” he said.
“We spend a great deal of time and money on research, and developing new manufacturing techniques to create products that are the most energy efficient in the world – and it is heartening to see Government recognising those efforts and working with industry to accelerate the commercialisation of innovative products and thus create employment opportunities.”
“Both Climate Wizard and Coolerado offer energy efficiencies that are simply second to none, and developing domestic versions will be nothing short of a major industry game-changer. The expected demand from the marketplace for these products will secure jobs and further grow our workforce throughout the coming years, and for every direct job that is created, there will be a multiplier effect for other local jobs.”
Interview opportunities with Mr Frank Seeley are available, and can be arranged by calling Adam Thomson from Leverage PR on 0430 420 120.
About Seeley International
Seeley International is Australia’s largest air conditioning manufacturer and is market leader in the design and manufacture of ducted and portable heating and cooling products for the domestic, commercial and industrial markets in Australia.
Renowned for its innovation, Seeley International’s brands include Breezair, Braemar, Coolair, Convair and Climate Wizard. Based in Adelaide’s south – and with factories in Adelaide (evaporative coolers) and Albury (gas heaters and commercial cooling) – the company was founded in 1972 by Frank Seeley AM, who remains Executive Chairman.
Unlike many of its competitors, Seeley International continues to design and manufacture most of the components for its Australian-made products, which it exports to more than 120 countries around the world. More information about Seeley International and its products can be found at www.seeleyinternational.com.