The Andrews Labor Government together with the Commonwealth Government is investing $1.5 million in a biomass cogeneration power plant and almond production line at Select Harvests’ processing plant in Carina West in the Sunraysia region.
Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Victoria, Danielle Green said Select Harvests’ $20.5 million Best in Class Supply Chain Stages 2 and 3 Infrastructure Project would secure existing jobs and create a further 20 jobs at the plant.
Select Harvests is one of Australia’s largest almond growers and a leading manufacturer, processor and marketer of nut products, health snacks and muesli to the Australian retail and industrial markets.
Stage 2 of the project will install a biomass boiler and steam turbine plant, fuelled by almond and orchard waste products, and converting it to heat and power to primarily power Select Harvests’ plant and nearby dams, with excess power fed into the electricity grid.
Stage 2 will also provide electricity security for the Carina West plant and stability for the local area, consume 29,000 metric tonnes of almond and orchard waste and reduce Select Harvests’ annual carbon dioxide emissions by more than 23,000 tonnes.
Stage 3 will install a state-of-the-art almond-only processing plant, which will enable Select Harvests to meet market demand for almond products free of other nut allergens, in a first for Australian almonds.
Select Harvests recently invested more than $1 million in stage 1, which upgraded high voltage electricity infrastructure between the almond processing plant and two nearby dams in the almond orchard.
The Government funding is being provided through the Murray-Darling Basin Regional Economic Diversification Program Victoria (MDBREDP) (VIC) to Select Harvests, which is contributing $19 million.
The MDBREDP (VIC) is designed to strengthen and diversify the local economies of Victorian communities impacted by the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. The $15 million fund comprises $10 million from the Federal Government and $5 million from the Victorian Government.
Victoria is Australia’s largest producer of almonds and in 2014–15, Victoria’s almond exports were valued at $381 million.
Quotes attributable to Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Victoria Danielle Green
“The Victorian Government is proud to support this innovative project that will secure existing jobs and create 20 much needed jobs for the Sunraysia region.”
“Select Harvests’ $20.5 million investment is a massive vote of confidence in Sunraysia and shows regional Victoria is a place to do business.”
Quotes attributable to Select Harvests Managing Director Paul Thompson
“I am pleased that we are able to increase our investment in and commitment to the region and sustainability with the development of this energy efficient, almond-only facility.”
Reviewed 10 February 2021