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Work Begins On $7.5m Proteco Expansion

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An artist’s impression of the new Proteco Oils facility which will constructed in the Taabinga Industrial Estate (Artwork: Proteco)

Proteco Oils managing director Josh Gadischke

March 30, 2020

Preliminary work has begun on a $7.5 million expansion by local food producer Proteco Oils on a greenfield site at the Taabinga Industrial Estate in Kingaroy.

The property is located at 7 Cornish Street, opposite the South Burnett Enterprise Centre.

Fences are in the process of being erected on the site, which will eventually house an ultra-modern food processing facility.

“The construction this year is the first of several planned expansion stages to the greenfield site, with a total full project cost of $24 million,” Proteco Oils managing director Josh Gadischke said.

Construction work will begin in April with the first stage due to be completed in November.

Proteco manufactures cold-pressed specialty and refined oils – and nut spreads – which are sold into Australian supermarkets as well as the export market.

Josh said the new facility would make use of high-level automation that would reduce energy usage and create efficiency gains without compromising quality.

“Electronic computer monitoring of each processing function will allow rapid computer responses far greater than traditional manual control systems,” he said.

Design improvements would also reduce processing waste by as much as 85 per cent.

“This is critical in maintaining competitiveness in a global marketplace,” he said.

Josh said the new facility would allow Proteco to eventually increase sales by 150 per cent.

“Most of this will come from overseas markets, including China,” he said.

“Even though COVID-19 is creating short-term disruptions, we are building this facility with a long-term growth view.

“The current turbulence does not impact our forward business strategies.”

Josh said the project was an investment in capacity and was designed to meet the very latest industrial and international food safety standards.

“Wherever possible, all trades and services for the construction will be awarded to local South Burnett businesses,” he said.

“This project will provide upskilling of 10 employees in ‘Advanced Manufacturing Industry 4.0’ standards and create eight new positions as it unlocks capacity constraints elsewhere in the company.

“The intention of this new build is to relocate as many operators as possible from the factory floor into control room environments.

“This provides greater control of operator safety and ability to optimise real-time data during production.”

Josh said Proteco has several new consumer products under development which the company intends to introduce to the market in the next few years.

“The master planned facility allows this growth to be sustainably produced,” he said.

Josh said the South Burnett Regional Council had provided strong support and assistance during the planning and feasibility stages of the project.

“This project has flagged support from our local state member Deb Frecklington and Federal member David Littleproud who have both acknowledged the growth success of Proteco Oils during the past few years,” he said.

“We believe this will be a showcase facility with the very latest innovations in the food-processing sector.”

Related articles:

Lines of fences have started to appear on the site in Cornish Street, Kingaroy

The view from the north-east of the new facility (Artwork: Proteco)

Looking from the north-west (Artwork: Proteco)


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6 Responses to Work Begins On $7.5m Proteco Expansion

  1. John Carey

    Congratulations Josh and Jo and your team. Such good news and your confidence in the power of the South Burnett to be a leader in technology, safety and an incubator for our existing businesses to keep growing is appreciated!

  2. Nina Temperton

    Fabulous news. Congratulations Jo and Josh and welcome to the neighbourhood!

  3. Dorothy Jones

    Congratulations to the Proteco team. I felt I had to comment on the coincidence of the location of their new premises in Cornish Street as they are presently located at the old butter factory site. My grandfather Thomas Henry Cornish installed the machinery in this first butter factory and became its first manager in 1907.

  4. Josh Gadischke

    Hi Dorothy, we had discovered this connection between the street name and the first butter factory manager (your grandfather). Although I don’t know the history of the street name specifically, as it was only surveyed in the ’70s (I believe).

    We have a lovely photo of Mr T.H. Cornish at his desk. Ironically, my grandmother also worked for the butter factory, albeit, sometime later in history.

    You’ll be pleased to know, for a while yet we’ll operate from the two facilities keeping the old butter factory alive!

  5. Dorothy Jones

    Hello – Thank you for your reply – I have never seen that photo of him at work at the butter factory – is it possible to get a copy? Re the street name – I don’t know whether it was named after Thomas Henry Snr or Thomas Henry Jnr, or perhaps both of them.

  6. Kirstie Schumacher

    Thank you Jo and Josh, and the Proteco team for your continued support and investment in the South Burnett. I was so impressed by your last expansion at the Butter Factory, but these plans are truly grand! Your hard work and self-made story is inspiring, and I’m very much looking forward to this next chapter. Kind regards, Kirstie Schumacher

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