Garden City lines up $50m market

Industry Capability Network (ICN) spotted a $50 million local market for high density polyethylene lining and prepared a business case. Garden City Geotech sensed the opportunity. Now Australian customers are lining up.

Each year, Australia imports $50 million worth of high density polyethylene (HDPE) lining for a great range of uses. HDPE lining contains waste in landfills, contains ash at coal power stations, lines irrigation channels and covers waste water ponds at paper mills, to name a few.

'This product was not being made in Australia or New Zealand', said Tammy Atkins, ICN’s Hume Regional Manager, 'and imports from Thailand, India or the USA come with risks such as delivery delays. Not to mention the buyer’s cash flow hit in buying and storing bulk material.'

So Tammy swung into action. With a grant from the Victorian Government she engaged a consultancy firm to outline the extent of the opportunity.

Tammy then contacted over 50 Australian manufacturers who might be interested in producing the HDPE product. Garden City Plastics acted the quickest. Garden City Plastics has been Australia’s largest supplier of plastic pots, tubes, and containers to the wholesale nurseries, landscape and gardening industry. It wanted to do more.

'ICN identified the fact that almost 20,000 tonnes of plastic lining was being imported, and that there was a local manufacturing opportunity', recalls Graham Brown, Garden City Plastics Business Development Manager. 'We were looking to expand our business and this was an ideal fit.'

With industry information, support and contacts from ICN, Mr Brown convinced the Garden City Plastics board to act. They invested $5.5m to upgrade and expand their Heatherton plant, took on 20 new employees, and launched the new business line: Garden City Geotech.

'We have had a tremendous response', says Graham Brown. 'Our customers are as delighted as we are that we can offer a reliable supply of quality product at the right price, and that they can order for immediate or fixed-time delivery.'

Garden City Geotech can’t afford the same supply risks that affect its own customers. Therefore, it is securing raw materials from local suppliers, underpinning even more Victorian jobs.

'As well as bringing the opportunity to our attention, ICN was able to help us to understand the local market and we will continue to draw on the organisation’s knowledge of local suppliers and opportunities with major projects.'

ICN is Australia and New Zealand’s innovative industry matchmaker. If you’re a major project developer, ICN can put you in contact with the best suppliers. If you’re a supplier we will connect you with the best projects for your business.