HAY exporter Al Dahra Australia will invest A$10 million in a hi-tech production line and press at its Western Australian facility at Wannamal, 100km north of Perth.
The South Australian-manufactured Schutz hay processing plant system, complemented by the latest SA Torque Industries hydraulics and electrical package, will produce 80,000 tonnes per annum of high quality export hay and straw for Al Dahra's global markets, including the Middle East, Japan, China, Taiwan and Korea.
Al Dahra Australia general manager Keith Coakley said the plant would operate from December.
"The new plant will triple our capacity and lift packaging quality to the highest possible level, giving our valued customers more options in terms of bale size and packing and wrapping styles," Mr Coakley said.
"This expansion of Al Dahra's initial 2016 footprint in Western Australia signals our intent to build bigger, better and more sustainable business relationships with more growers and to grow market share, potentially via strategic acquisitions, subject to due diligence stacking up.
"With our focus on quality and a commitment to supply only a world-class, quality assured product to our customers, we rely on a select pool of equally committed WA growers, who we regard as some of the best in the world.
"We anticipate 2020 will again see excellent returns for growers, with strong demand for hay and straw to meet an increasing need for highly nutritious livestock feed to meet the world's expanding protein requirements.
"Exporters have very little carryover stocks from last year, which featured low yields but high quality."
Al Dahra is a prominent multi-national leader in agribusiness, specialising in the cultivation, production and trading of animal feed and essential food commodities and end-to-end supply chain management.
Serving a large customer base in government and commercial sectors, Al Dahra has a big geographic footprint, with a workforce of 5000 in more than 20 countries and catering to more than 45 markets, with a leading position in Asia and the Middle East.
The group manages and operates a land bank of more than 160,000 hectares, with 1200 pivots.
In addition, the company owns and manages 15 state-of-the-art forage processing and baling facilities and can produce and supply three million tonnes of alfalfa and grasses annually, catering to the needs of livestock producers around the world.
Al Dahra is a world leader in the production, packaging, marketing and distribution of grains, operating three rice mills and two flour mills, with the capacity to annually produce 500,000 tonnes of rice and 500,000t of flour.
The business owns and operates a grains hub, strategically located at the Fujairah port in the United Arab Emirates, with 20 silos and a storage capacity of more than 300,000t.
Al Dahra has also made considerable investments in the logistics and supply chain sector, moving about 2mt annually and shipping 175,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (an inexact unit of cargo capacity often used to describe the capacity of container ships).
In 2019 Al Dahra's share of the global fodder trade was 16 per cent.
By the end of 2020 it anticipates growing that share to 20pc.