NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA — Cargill will spend $50 million in Australia to upgrade and expand its Newcastle, Narrabri and Footscray oilseed crush facilities to meet rising international demand for canola and cottonseed oil.

Australian canola is in high demand globally for its use across food products, biodiesel and as a feed stock, Cargill noted in its April 26 announcement. With canola production on the rise, Cargill, a key supplier of high-grade canola oil to customers in Australia and Asia, is investing to expand its crush capacity and increase production of canola oil and meal as well as cottonseed oil and meal. 

“Cargill plays a major role in connecting farmers and customers to the food and ingredients they need,” said Zsolt Kocza, managing director of Cargill in Australia. “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. It will also connect Australian farmers to international markets, creating more demand for locally grown canola.”

Cargill’s Footscray plant will see an increase in canola crush capacity with upgrades to the processing equipment and some modifications to drive logistical efficiencies and better, more efficient customer experience.

In Newcastle, New South Wales, Cargill’s facility is being upgraded to enable the crush of cotton seed, along with existing processing capacity of canola, increasing 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 improving farmer delivery experience.

Cargill’s Narrabri plant has been modified into a dedicated cottonseed dehulling plant as part of an upgrade and restart. The hulls from Narrabri will cater to domestic feedstock markets and cottonseed meats will be transported to Newcastle where it will be further processed into oil and meal.

Cargill is a major marketer of Australian grain and oilseeds, supplying its crush plants as well as domestic and international customers in the food processing, animal feed and meat industries. The 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 cotton seed hulls and oil. 

Cargill processes over 680,000 tonnes of canola, cottonseed, sunflower seed and soybeans annually in Australia to produce protein meal for animal feed and vegetable oil for foods such as margarine, salad dressings and frying.