Australian oilseed crusher, GrainCorp Oils, has started a major value-adding and processing efficiency move in which it will spend AU$80M to upgrade its Melbourne food products packing plant and move its spreads and commercial oil production and packing lines from Brisbane, Farm Weekly reported on 6 April.

Work to upgrade the quality of its oil operation at the Numurkah plant in northern Victoria had just finished. The facility could now produce refined food grade canola oil.

In addition, the site’s canola seed crushing operations would be expanded by 25% next year to 240,000 tonnes/year as part of a AU$48M upgrade.

GrainCorp also has crushing and refining plants in Millicent, South Australia and Pinjara, Western Australia. It also has a refining and blending facility in New Zealand and 14 bulk liquid terminal sites in Australia, China and New Zealand.

GrainCorp announced the upgrades at the Melbourne and Numurkah plants two years ago, Farm Weekly said.

Following the announcement, the company began to shift its advanced stage oil processing and packing to the upgraded sites from the 80-year-old former rendering plant in Brisbane.

The Melbourne site includes a new food grade testing laboratory, 1.5M litres of bulk storage, warehousing and an electricity network upgrade to power the high-tech, stainless steel plant.

US-based Archer Daniel Midland is GrainCorp’s biggest shareholder, and contributed technical expertise to the Melbourne and Numurkah developments, the report said.