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South Australia Dairy Plant Construction On Schedule
January 28, 2016

Work is going smoothly on the new milk processing plant under construction at Penola, South Australia, ready for the 2017 opening.  Midfield Group dairy operations director Daniel Aarons said the dryer and evaporation buildings, and subsequent technology, would be complete by the end of April, with the receival area expected to be finished by the end of the year.

“We expect the plant to be finished by the end of the 2016, ready to commission in January 2017,” he said.  The plant will have the capacity to process 220 million litres a year, and Mr Aarons said the group was expecting to achieve that within a short time frame.  “We’d like to get to that point as soon as possible,” he said.  “In the first calendar year, as we learn how to operate the new plant, we anticipate to have about 150-170 million litres.  “We will push up to full capacity by the second year.”

Mr Aarons expects most of the milk to be sourced locally.  “We would like for as much of our requirements to come from the South East of SA, but we anticipate some will need to come from western Vic,” he said.

Midfield plans to export the milk product internationally.  “We’re not primarily focused on China,” he said.  “We’re receiving great interest from Japan, Middle East and the United States.”  Mr Aarons said the site would produce skim, whole and instant milk, while the plant would have the ability to produce fresh cream.

He said the company had invested in the highest level automative technology to improve efficiencies and match with the quality of milk sourced and enable production of a high quality milk powder.  SA Dairyfarmers Association president David Basham said the creation of a new milk processing factory in the largest dairy producing area of the state was a great step.  “It shows the potential the SE has in producing milk,” he said.  At the moment, most of the milk produced in the SE heads across the border to western Victoria.

Mr Basham said the expansion in the production capability in the area could lead to improved farmgate pricing for dairy farmers.  “For a company like Midfield to attract farmers to them, they will have to be competitive, or even out in front,” he said.  Mr Basham said export markets were a key area for this expansion within the Australian and SA dairy industry.  “The Australian domestic market is relatively stable, growing roughly at population growth,” he said.  “To grow the industry and develop further, it’s only natural to look overseas to faster growing markets.”

By: Elizabeth Anderson
Source: Adf.online.com.au


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