Global dreams for Geelong manufacturer

October 4, 2023 BY

Ecoduct's green PVC product has earned national attention in the construction industry, and is now a finalist for the 2023 Geelong business Excellence Awards. Photo: SUPPLIED

AN INNOVATIVE Geelong idea to produce green, locally made ceiling duct has spread across Australia and has ambition to enter international markets.

Bell Park manufacturer Ecoduct is also hoping to add to its impressive trophy cabinet next month at the finals of the Geelong Business Excellence Awards, presented by LBW Business + Wealth Advisors.

Ecoduct makes a range of environmentally friendly, low-profile ceiling duct that is designed for high-density residential developments that often have less ceiling space than detached homes.

Its PVC product is made from 50 per cent recycled material and are 100 per cent recyclable themselves, and have earned environmental certification from construction authorities.

The business spawned from director Tom Pausak’s idea that followed his own experience with a ventilation installment company.

That business would import from across the world including China, South Korea and Ukraine due to a lack of local products available, which created a complicated supply chain.

“We were really, really busy and our supplies just kept running out of stock. They just couldn’t bring the product in fast enough on the shipping containers,” Mr Pausak said.

“It happened once, and we lost a lot of money because we had to make all this stuff out of sheet metal, which is about four or five times the price.

“A few months later it happened again and I said to my business partners ‘Guys, we need to do something here’.”

Mr Pausak and his co-directors, Stipe Kump and Markino Pausak, first investigated sourcing materials directly from international manufacturers.

“When I thought about it, the only difference would be if we import from overseas is instead of us telling the builder our supplier has ran out, we’ll be saying that we ran out,” he said.

“So we started going in the journey of actually creating our own duct and making it ourselves here in Geelong.”

Discussions with industry partners led to development of the local, environmentally friendly product sold today.

In the ensuing years, Ecoduct has since grown to have a national presence, with storage facilities in every capital city across Australia.

International turmoil caused by the pandemic provided another boost to the growing business.

“COVID was a game changer for us. Nobody could get ducts into the country and really struggled,” Mr Pausak said.

“In the last seven years, we’ve never missed an order since we started.

“It was something that was there purely to support our own business and it just snowballed into something bigger.

“The ultimate goal is definitely for us to be exporting all around the world.”

Ecoduct already has an impressive trophy cabinet of national industry awards, but Mr Prusak said he was pleased to also be in the running for local awards through the GBEAs.

“We’re definitely very passionate about manufacturing in Geelong.

“Considering how much manufacturing we’ve lost, to be able to give something back is really big for us.”

The Geelong Chamber of Commerce will announce GBEA category winners at a gala event at GMHBA Stadium on October 19.

For more information and to book tickets, head to gbea.com.au