Australian oilseed crusher GrainCorp announced at the end of April that it is shutting down its Riverland Oilseeds canola crushing site at Millicent, South Australia in late September.

The company said the 100 tonnes/day plant – its smallest canola crushing site – was too far from customers and not big enough and was no longer considered to be in a cost effective location in relation to its main markets.

The announcement comes in the wake of its closure of its Brisbane oil refining and packing plant.

GrainCorp has been restructuring its oils business, spending US$61M to upgrade its new vegetable oil refining, packing and bottling lines for spreads, oils and dressings in Melbourne (see News, OFI May 2016).

Work to upgrade its Numurkah plant in northern Victoria to produce refined food grade canola oil had just finished, and it is building another 25% capacity into the site, which will have a canola crush capacity of 240,000 tonnes/year.

It also recently increased crushing capacity at its West Australian oilseed crushing site at Pinjarra to 200 tonnes/day.

“While we are investing to grow our edible oils processing capability in Australia, we are also seeking to maximise our efficiency to keep Australian oils and meals competitive,” general manager of supply chain and operations Doug Belavic said.

GrainCorp acquired the Millicent, Pinjarra and Numurkah plants from private vegetable oil crusher and storage company Gardner Smith for A$372M (US$268M) in 2012 as part of a bigger A$472M (US$361M) deal incorporating the purchase of Integro Foods, according to The Land.