United Malt Group (UMG), GrainCorp’s former malting division which has started as a standalone business in March (inside.beer, 22.3.2020), will more than double its production capacity at its West Australian plant in Perth, the company announced on Wednesday. Together with two other expansions in Scotland, UMG will add a total of 130,000 tons of annual malting capacity until the end of next year.
Barrett Burston Malting, UMG’s Australian subsidiary, will replace the existing kiln at its facility in Welshpool, a suburb of West Australia’s capital. The new and indirect heating source kiln will have a yearly production capacity of 110,000 tons of malt thus more than doubling the current capacity of 50,000 tons after completion in October 2021. The plant was first commissioned in 1978 and currently comprises two floors of seven cylindro-conical steeping vessels, four Saladin box germination vessels, and a two-floor circular kiln.
“The Welshpool facility is strategically located in close proximity to Western Australia’s highquality barley growing region and is also well situated to meet increasing demand both domestically and in exports to Asia. The replacement with a larger capacity kiln provides the flexibility for future production capacity expansion at our Perth facility as we continue to focus on targeting those high value markets where the long-term outlook for growth remains supportive,” UMG’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mark Palmquist said.
“This upgrade is part of our broader strategy of continued investment in our assets, to create best in class operations to better service our customers,” Palmquist added.
Next to the upgrade of its Welshpool plant, UMG also continued expansions on two of its Scottish malt plants. The enlargement of its Arbroath plant is on track for completion by end of this year adding 22,000 tons of production capacity. In addition, construction of the new Inverness plant which will increase capacity by another 57,000 tons per annum has started in August and is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.
The ambitious investment program will be financed through AUD 170.6m (USD 123m) of funds which the company recently raised via an AUD 140m institutional placement and a AUD 30.6m share purchasing plan (inside.beer, 18.5.2020).
United Malt is the fourth largest commercial maltster globally, with approximately 1.25 million tons of annual malting capacity across 13 processing plants in Canada, United States of America, Australia and the United Kingdom and more than 95% average utilization. The company also operates an international distribution business, which provides a full service offering for craft brewers and distillers, including malt, hops, yeast, adjuncts and related products.