Marquis Macadamias already processes almost half of Australia’s macadamias but has lodged a development application which would see its Bundaberg facility almost triple its throughput.
Founded in 1983, Marquis Macadamias Limited (MML) has two Australian facilities which process 46% of Australia’s nut-in-shell crop.
According to the development application, which would also see the facility’s floor area almost quadruple in size, the expansion would “further solidify Bundaberg as the largest macadamia-producing region in Australia”.
“The macadamia nut processing facility currently handles 10,213 tonnes of macadamias annually, and is considered close to capacity,” the application said.
“Harvest occurs from April to November, and the facility employs up to 180 staff during peak season.
“MML now plans to increase its production to 30,000 [tonnes] per annum.
“This will necessitate the expansion of facilities.
The Bundaberg macadamia nut processing facility, located on Rosedale Road, is one of only two global processers which can deliver certified Log5 pasteurised product.
This product provides the highest level of food safety and therefore requires reduced quarantine periods, giving it a market advantage.
The proposed $25 million Marquis Macadamias expansion has already been supported by the State Government through the Jobs and Growth Fund.
The expansion would allow MML to continue the receival, drying, cracking, sorting, value adding and packaging of macadamia nuts, as per the existing approved site operations.
Marquis Macadamias CEO Larry McHugh told Bundaberg Now that, should the expansion be approved, it would provide a boost to the Bundaberg Region.
“There is going to be an increase in jobs here and, in fact, this factory is already employing about 190 people in our main season,” Mr McHugh said.
“That’s going to increase, it’s probably going to be at least another 30 or 40 jobs coming in across a few years’ time.”
Mr McHugh said that would include a range of roles and skills across the farming sector as well as in the services sector, transport, factory work and repairs and maintenance.
“There’s jobs all around.”
The Marquis Macadamias expansion plans also look to ensure the company can minimise waste.
“We are actually getting around 6000 tonnes of shell and that’s an incredibly good fuel,” Mr McHugh said.
“So we’ll be using that to fire our boiler which then we use the heat to dry our nut in shell.
“When it comes off the paddock it’s wet, we need to dry it down before we process it.”
He said Marquis Macadamia hoped to “turn soil” on the first phase of the expansion in early 2022.
The development application is seeking a boundary realignment and Material Change of Use for a high impact industry.
The significant Marquis Macadamias expansion proposal would add 11,111 m sq to the facility’s existing 4450 m sq floor area.
The proposed Marquis Macadamias expansion proposes to:
- Increase in gross floor area of the processing facility to accommodate an increase to the processing area and cold storage area
- New separate steel frames and insulated drying shed building(s) for nut storage and drying
- Upgrades of existing services
- Extensions to existing vehicle access and parking areas.
“The current macadamia nut processing facility does not have the facilities or space required to accommodate the intended growth onsite,” the development application said.
“The proposed development will provide expanded, purpose-built facilities that facilitates current and future delivery to Marquis Macadamias.”