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Electrolux To Shut Orange Plant, 544 Jobs To Go

By Oonagh Reidy | Friday | 01/11/2013

Refrigeration Plant at Orange, NSW to close as it moves production to cheaper locations in Asia, Europe

Electrolux has decided to consolidate its Asia-Pacific refrigeration production and close its Refrigeration Plant at Orange, 250 kms west of Sydney.

544 staff, both full and part time, will be affected by the decision. 

Managing Director of Electrolux Home Products ANZ , Dr John Brown, said the plant continue to manufacture large sized fridges and chest freezers, under the Electrolux, Westinghouse and Kelvinator brands, until it closes fully in 2016.

A consultative process between management and staff is to be set up and the 544 Electrolux employees, both full and part-time, would receive  full entitlements under workplace agreements.

The decision was following an "exhaustive" investment study, announced earlier this year, led by Plant manager Mark O'Kane and a team of logistics, finance professionals, in a bid to cut costs and present the best economic case for the  plant's continuation at Orange, NSW. 

But it wasn't enough to save one of the biggest employers in the regional NSW town.

The study concluded Electrolux is able to manufacture refrigerators more cost effectively in other factories in Asia and Eastern Europe. 

"A compelling business case could not be made for investing the necessary funds to upgrade the Orange plant for the company's future manufacturing needs in the Asia-Pacific region", Brown said in a statement. 

The manufacturing operations at Orange will be wound down "in a gradual and orderly manner" starting late 2015 until mid to late 2016.  

The research and development centre would continue for up to a further two years after this date.

Following Orange plant closure, Electrolux would still employ more than 1100 people throughout Australia and New Zealand and continue to operate the plant in Dudley Park, Adelaide.

The Orange factory has been a major employer since 1942, first constructed as a small arms munitions factory. 

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