NESTLE Australia’s first stage of a K21.6 million expansion at its Papua New Guinea factory will result in the creation of 75 additional jobs.

The project includes installing new production equipment at the company’s factory in Lae that will meet increasing local demand for its products, particularly Maggi noodles and Maggi bouillon.

Nestle executive vice president Nandu Nandkishore said the significant investment signalled a long-standing commitment to the country.

“Nestle has been operating in this country for more than three decades and our commitment goes well beyond the manufacturing of nutritious products,” he said.

“We also support the PNG economy by sourcing a substantial amount of raw materials locally as well as implementing agricultural programs to support, encourage and train local farmers, particularly in the growing of coffee for our Nescafe Plan.”

The installation of the new equipment, sourced largely from Europe, is expected to see the amount of product manufactured increase by 30 per cent.

The last major upgrade at the factory was 14 years ago when the outgoing noodle line was installed.

Nestle Pacific Islands country manager Eugene David said the investment would create a platform for innovation.

“Nestle PNG already produces a range of nutritious fortified products specifically tailored to the needs of Papua New Guineans and this investment will allow us to increase our offering,” he said.

“This expansion is very significant as it will allow us to keep on providing quality products on state-of-the-art equipment as well as more jobs.”