A $50million revamp of GrainCorp’s Numurkah processing plant will see an additional 22 semi-trailer loads of canola seed pass through the plant each day and processing power almost doubled when works are completed next year.
Dubbed Project Force, the latest investment is the second in as many years at the McDonald St plant, following the $38million Project Delta completed last year.
GrainCorp Numurkah’s plant manager and manufacturing general manager Troy Knox said the project was key to ensuring the plant remained as productive as possible.
‘‘The works will increase the capacity of the site from about 730 metric tonnes of processing a day to 1000 metric tonnes when we fully ramp up production later next year,’’ Mr Knox said.
‘‘So that equates to about a 40 per cent increase in production capacity.’’
With a booming export market, predominately in Asia, Mr Knox said the works were key to ensuring production was able to keep up with growing demand and ensuring the plant remained cost competitive.
Part of the project is a new solvent extraction plant, which retrieves residual oil from canola seed and allows for more economical use of the seed.
The current solvent extraction plant will be decommissioned and remain standing, with a new administrative building also constructed as part of the works.
With the centre of Numurkah just a stone’s throw away, Mr Knox said the company was committed to taking steps to reduce noise and odour impacts on the community, with those concerns taken into consideration for the designs.
‘‘The new solvent extraction plant will be fully clad to reduce noise and has been designed to reduce the impacts of both noise and odour,’’ he said.
‘‘We’re committed to exploring how we can be better than compliant and ensure our capital improvements achieve the best outcomes.’’
Although parts of the plant already incorporate elements of automation, Mr Knox said the latest section of the plant would be ‘‘highly automated’’, helping to increase efficiency and safety.
The project is expected to create an additional 50 jobs when it hits peak construction, with further technical support staff to be employed to equip plant operators with the knowledge and skills required to operate the latest technology in the plant.
Mr Knox said the company would be seeking to employ additional logistics employees in the future as truck movements and production increased.
The first phase of the project is set to be completed in October to coincide with the company’s annual maintenance shutdown, with the new solvent extraction plant expected to be completed by June 2018.
The Numurkah factory is a division of GrainCorp Oilseeds.