Wally Newman, CBH Group chairman, said that the project builds on CBH’s June 2015 acquisition of Blue Lake Milling (BLM), one of Australia’s largest suppliers of processed oats, delivering real benefits to the cooperative and its members.
“This investment grows our oat processing business to improve returns to the cooperative, increase rebates to growers and strengthen demand for WA oats,” he said. “Through the investment in BLM we have acquired the skills and capability to further grow Australian oat processing and fulfil the growing export demand.”
“It’s an opportune time for the cooperative as we leverage BLM’s expertise in this area with the location of the CBH Metro Grain Centre already providing all the necessary grain handling infrastructure and container loading facilities required for a project of this scale,” Newman said.
Ben Abbot, Blue Lake Milling chief executive officer, said this facility will be the third plant operated by BLM, adding to its South Australian and Victorian processing plants. The company currently has 60,000 tonnes of annual capacity, and specializes in oat milling, producing rolled, quick and instant oats. It also manufactures, packages and distributes a range of niche cereal flakes, bran, flours and premixes.
“Once complete the new processing facility will make BLM the largest independent oat processor in the Australasian region,” he said. “The new Western Australian plant will enable the BLM business to increase its ability to service the growing Asian demand for oat products; using locally grown oats.”
Newman said the cooperative is well placed to further capitalize on opportunities that exist in Asia.
“Food safety is important to our Asian customers in the oat market and the Australian made brand is highly valued for this type of product,” Newman said.
Construction on the BLM oat processing facility will begin later this year and is scheduled for completion in December 2017.