IPSWICH, AUSTRALIA – Swift Australia opened its $22 million (US$20 million) hide-salting facility in Ipswich, which is the biggest of its kind in Australia, according to The Queensland Times – Australia. The new facility, which was built on the grounds of Swift’s existing Dinmore site, will employ more than 50 new staff and process up to 6,000 hides a day.

Local dignitaries and company officials on hand at the grand opening included Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, Queensland Parliament speaker John Mickel, Swift Australia officials and Wesley Batista, chief executive officer of Swift’s parent company JBS S.A.

“Normally we’d be sending the hides overseas or somewhere else, so to be able to process the hides here we’re value-adding our product,” said Iain Mars, Swift Australia chief executive officer.

The new facility reuses the salt and water used on site and utilizes bio-filters to ensure no foul odors get outside the facility. Mr. Batista said the plant was just one of the $400 million worth of facilities his group had constructed in Australia since taking over Swift Australia in 2007.