May 20, 2015


GrainCorp invests $50 million to expand oilseed crushing capacity in Australia




Australia's GrainCorp has announced an investment of $50 million to increase oilseed crushing capacity and efficiency at its Numurkah facility in Victoria, Australia.


Pending planning and environmental approvals, construction is expected to take place for about two years, with the newly expanded capacity expected to be ready from the middle of the 2017.


The project is consistent with the company's aim to create a strategic hub for oilseeds crushing and refining in the state, according to Mark Palmquist, the managing director and CEO of GrainCorp.


"(This) 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," Palmquist said.


Sam Tainsh, the Group General Manager of GrainCorp Oils, revealed that the investment will fund the installation of additional state-of-the-art technology, which delivers a substantially higher oil yield than the current extraction process.


It will increase Graincorp's crush capacity at Numurkah by 40%, to 1,000 tonnes daily, as well as raising the competitiveness of the company's locally grown and crushed product versus imported oils.


In addition, the investment will boost the capability for quick expansion, to a cost-effective capacity of 1,400 tonnes per day if demand continues to grow.


"This investment further underlines the commitment of GrainCorp to edible oils food manufacturing operations in Australia and reinforces our vision of a regional Victorian hub for sourcing, crushing, processing and refining canola," Tainsh said.


"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."


Tainsh added that Graincorp's operations in Millicent, South Australia, will increasingly focus on canola and speciality oils, including organic oils, for domestic and export markets. The company's site in Pinjarra, Western Australia, will continue to pursue growth opportunities.


According to Palmquist, demand for healthy oils based on canola and other oilseeds continues to grow in Australia, while a steady rise in exports is currently ongoing.


 "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," Palmquist said.


"We are able to pursue these opportunities thanks to our efforts to consolidate our edible oils manufacturing footprint and improving our supply chain capability."