French malt producer boosts Australian facility with A$100 million investment

16 Oct 2018

A massive A$100 million expansion of the Malteurop malthouse in Geelong will increase production capacity from 80,000 to 200,000 tonnes per annum to make it one of the biggest malting plants in Australia.

‘With a production capacity of 200,000 tonnes, Geelong is strategically important for Malteurop in the booming Asian malt market,’ says Olivier Parent, Malteurop's Managing Director, in a company media release.

‘This region, including China, currently represents more than one third of the world's total beer market. This makes Geelong Malteurop's third biggest regional hub after Vitry in France (245,000 tonnes) and Great Falls in North America (220,000 tonnes).’

The Geelong malting plant is now one of the most technologically advanced in the world, as Malteurop was able to draw on its experience from developing the company’s 13 production sites located around the globe.

Malteurop’s French parent company Vivescia is keen to capitalise on rising beer consumption in the Asia-Pacific region and Southeast Asia, and estimates 85 to 90% of production will be exported.

‘The aim is to export more to our current markets – Thailand, Vietnam, South Korea and Cambodia – and go for new markets like Laos and India,’ says Trevor Perryman, Malteurop’s General Manager for Australia and New Zealand.

‘Asia already has a deficit in production of cereal grains and malt, so Australia as a major producer is well placed to meet that demand. This will give Asian brewers greater opportunity to source their malt out of the Australian market.’

Karen Caston, Austrade’s Senior Investment Specialist, Agribusiness and Food, notes that Australia’s free trade agreements (FTAs) with Asian partners played a role in Malteurop’s decision to expand the Geelong plant.

‘Australia’s FTAs with China, Japan, Korea and other Asian countries give us a huge competitive edge in major export markets that many other major agricultural exporting countries don’t have,’ says Caston.

Another incentive for Malteurop was Geelong’s close proximity to abundant local barley growers and Port Phillip Bay, Australia’s largest deep-water dock and main export port.

‘Victorian grain growers and farmers can deliver directly to plant, thereby reducing costs associated with storage and freight and improving supply chain efficiency,’ says Caston.

‘Australian malt is considered very high quality. Australia’s reputation as a premium food and beverage producer coupled with its favourable trading status, is seeing increased interest in investing in Australian agribusiness and food companies.’

Austrade Paris has been working with Malteurop’s parent company Vivescia over the last year, providing information on local government regulations, port access and the Australian malt market to facilitate the expansion.

Malteurop produces malted ingredients and specialises in the barley-malt-beer chain. With almost 1,100 employees on 27 sites in 14 countries, Malteurop is the world's joint–leading malt producer. One in 10 beers produced worldwide contain malt from Malteurop.

Owned by 11,000 French farmers, Vivescia is an international farming and food processing cooperative and France’s leading grain cooperative.

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