Leading Australian agribusiness GrainCorp will spend $50 million to boost oilseed crushing capacity at its Numurkah plant in northern Victoria.
The news comes just one day after GrainCorp said it will undertake a significant expansion of malt production capacity at its Great Western Malting facility in Idaho.
According to the company’s news release, the investment further underlines GrainCorp’s commitment to edible oils food manufacturing operations in Australia.
“The project is in addition to the upgrade already underway at GrainCorp’s Numurkah and West Footscray facilities, announced in February 2014, which is on track for commissioning next year as planned. Demand for healthy oils based on canola and other oilseeds continues to grow in Australia, and we are also experiencing steady export growth,” said Managing Director and CEO Mark Palmquist.
“Over the past three years canola oil exports from Australia have grown by over 25% and we expect recent Free Trade Agreements to create further opportunities to grow exports, in particular in growing Asian markets where consumers are becoming increasingly health conscious. We are able to pursue these opportunities thanks to our efforts to consolidate our edible oils manufacturing footprint, improving our supply chain capability.”
By increasing the lift crush capacity by 40% to 1,000 tonnes a day, the grain giant aims to create a strategic hub for oilseed crushing and refining in Victoria in order to battle imports with improved local competitiveness.
“We are very excited about the additional demand and opportunity this creates for local grain growers. The expanded plant will also be able to produce canola meal tailored for the local poultry and dairy industries, as well as other customers,” Group General Manager of GrainCorp Oils, Sam Tainsh.
“Our operations in Millicent, South Australia will increasingly focus on canola and speciality oils, including organic oils, for domestic and export markets, while our site in Pinjarra, Western Australia will continue to pursue growth opportunities.”
The project is expected to generate an annual incremental benefit of approximately $10 million to earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation from FY18.