CALGARY, ALBERTA, CANADA — Viterra Inc. on Sept. 23 reaffirmed its commitment to construct a state-of the-art malt house and container packing facility 52 kilometers southeast of central Sydney in New South Wales, Australia. The project was initiated by ABB Grain prior to Viterra's acquisition of the Australian agri-business.

The plant will add to Viterra's significant malt position in Australia. The new, highly efficient malt house will have the capacity to produce approximately 110,000 tonnes of malt annually. It will also include an adjacent container packing facility that will handle a further 147,000 tonnes of grain each year.

The project aligns with Viterra's strategy to grow its value-added segment and further position the company as a global food ingredient manufacturer and supplier. The new build ensures capacity to service projected long-term growth in Asian malt markets.

"Key target markets in Southeast and Northern Asia are expected to continue to grow significantly over the next 10 years, driven by increasing populations and rising per capita income levels. Our new malting and packing facilities will give us significant advantages as we work to serve new and existing customers and strive to be the supplier of choice in both the domestic and international markets. Sydney is well located with access to premium malting barley crops and superior port shipping into major markets," said Fran Malecha, Viterra's chief operating officer.

Rob Gordon, president Southeast Asia and senior vice-president for Viterra said, "Viterra is the largest maltster in Australia, currently producing 500,000 tonnes of malt annually. Construction of the packing facility is slated for completion within nine months. The malt house will be completed in approximately 18 to 24 months. While large malt barley supplies in Europe created increased competition for Australian malt over the past year, it is the company's belief that the long-term fundamentals of this business remain strong and that the timing of the plant coming on-stream will ideally coincide with the expected recovery in the global malt industry."

The total cost of the project is estimated to be approximately A$110 million, with about A$75 million still to be incurred.