Cargill to upgrade three Australian crushing plants

Grain Central, April 26, 2023

First-stage processing of cottonseed is expected to be under way next year at Cargill’s Narrabri plant. Photo: Cargill

CARGILL has today announced an investment of A$73 million to upgrade and expand its Newcastle, Narrabri and Footscray oilseed-crushing facilities, with all work to be completed by May 2024.

In a statement, Cargill said the investment will cater to rising demand for canola and cottonseed products and provide Australian growers with further access to global markets.

Cargill is already a key supplier of high-grade canola oil to customers in Australia and Asia, and is investing to expand its crush capacity and increase production of canola and cottonseed oil and meal.

The spend includes an upgrade and restart of Cargill’s Narrabri plant in north-west New South Wales which ceased crushing in 2018 and has been mothballed since.

Narrabri is being modified into a dedicated cottonseed dehulling plant, and hulls will sell into the domestic feedstock market, while cottonseed meats from first-stage processing will be transported to Cargill’s plant in the NSW port city of Newcastle.

Cargill’s Newcastle plant will crush cottonseed as well as canola after its upgrade. Photo: Cargill

Newcastle is being upgraded to enable it to crush cottonseed meats alongside its existing canola crush, and this will significantly increase the plant’s total crush capacity.

Other plant upgrades include improvements in oilseed-processing equipment to serve the increased throughput and the cottonseed meal product, higher transport efficiencies, and an improved grower-delivery experience.

Cargill’s Footscray plant in Melbourne, Victoria, will also see an increase in canola-crush capacity, with upgrades to processing equipment, and modifications to drive efficiencies in logistics, including improved out-turn to customers.

Industry sources have told Grain Central the combined upgrades will add more than 100,000t to Cargill’s national crushing capacity, which currently sits at around 500,000t.

“This investment in increasing our crush capacity will help Cargill better serve the growing demand for canola and cottonseed products from customers both in Australia and across Asia,” Cargill agriculture supply chain in Australia and South and South-east Asia managing director Zsolt Kocza said.

“It will also connect Australian farmers to international markets, creating more demand for locally grown canola.”

Major export destinations for canola oil are China, Vietnam and New Zealand.

With this investment, Cargill also expects to be able to supply new domestic customers with cottonseed hulls and oil, as well as supporting 89 existing jobs and creating five new ones across the three facilities.

The US-based company has been operating in Australia since 1967, and trades Australian grain and oilseeds in domestic and export markets as part of its extensive global operations.

Canola crushed by Cargill in Australia produces protein meal and vegetable oils for the feed and food industries.

GrainCorp is Australia’s biggest oilseed crusher, with most of its capacity at its Numurkah plant in Victoria.

Australia’s other major canola-crushing sites are MSM Milling at Manildra, and Riverina Oils and BioEnergy, or ROBE, at Bomen north of Wagga Wagga in southern NSW.


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