GEELONG, AUSTRALIA — Malteurop, a French-based producer of malting ingredients, announced on Oct. 1 that it has expanded its malting plant near the Port of Geelong in Australia.

The expansion, which took 18 months to complete, adds 120,000 tonnes of production capacity to the site’s existing 80,000 tonnes, making it one of the biggest malting plants in Australia and the company’s third biggest site overall, according to Malteurop.

“With a production capacity of 200,000 tonnes, Geelong is strategically important for Malteurop in the booming Asian malt market,” said Oliver Parent, Malteurop’s managing director. “This region, including China, currently represents more than one-third of the world’s total beer market. This makes Geelong Malteurop’s third biggest regional hub after Vitry, in France (245,000 tonnes), and Great Falls (Montana) in North America.”

Malteurop said Geelong has two crucial advantages that will facilitate its growth on export markets in the Asia-Pacific region: Its immediate proximity to the largest malting barley growing regions in Australia to ensure supply, and its location near a port.

“The aim is to export more to our current markets — Thailand, Vietnam, South Korea and Cambodia — and go for new markets like Laos and India,” said Trevor Perryman, managing director of Malteurop Australia and New Zealand.

With the expanded production capacity, Malteurop said it will use twice as many export containers (8,000 versus 3,500 previously).

A subsidiary of VIVESCIA Group, Matleurop has nearly 1,100 employees working on 27 sites in 14 countries. It posted revenue of €860 million in 2016-17.