Major South Australian nut producer Almondco will expand its Renmark processing facility creating 50 new jobs, thanks to a $28.55 million Marshall Liberal Government loan.
The expansion will include construction of a world class value-adding almond processing facility, a new specialised sorting room with advanced electronic sorting equipment to double brown kernel processing and also full utilisation and treatment of the site's wastewater.
This project is expected to create 30 construction jobs and an additional 20 production jobs at Renmark, on top of the 170 people Almondco employs in South Australia.
Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone made the announcement during Almondco's 75th anniversary celebrations in the Riverland.
"The global demand for high quality almonds continues to grow and Almondco's Renmark expansion is a huge boost for not only the Riverland almond industry, but the state's economy," said Minister Whetstone.
"This expansion will assist Almondco meet market needs with a projected increase in almonds processed from 28,000 tonnes to over 45,000 tonnes per annum by 2026.
"Almondco is the second largest processor of almonds in Australia processing approximately 30 per cent of the national almond crop, exporting over 50 per cent of its output.
"In 2017–18, the South Australian almond industry was worth $108 million in farm gate value and the Marshall Liberal Government's support of the Almondco expansion will assist the three per cent growth target as part of the Growth State agenda."
Almondco Managing Director Brenton Woolston said the loan was crucial for the company to execute its expansion plans and would directly benefit its grower members.
"Almonds are also Australia's most valuable horticulture export," said Mr Woolston.
"Australia is ranked second at seven per cent on world almond production which is dominated by California in the USA, which produces 80 per cent of the world's almonds.
"Almondco is proud to play a role in assisting our industry and local economy grow.
"This expansion will further provide opportunities for local employment and open up new export markets due to higher processing capacity."
The Almondco loan is under the Loans to Cooperatives Scheme which assists economic growth in the state by supporting investment in new processing and storage infrastructure.