HPA invests in new pellet plant

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Australia’s largest hop grower, Hop Products Australia (HPA), has purchased the former Tobacco Cooperative of Victoria (TCV) property in Myrtleford, Victoria. The industrial site contains 4 separate buildings totaling more than 22,000 square metres which HPA plan to transform into a fully operational state-of-the-art pellet plant by 2024. The AUD$20million project will include the purchase of brand-new pelleting and packaging equipment that effectively doubles HPA’s current processing capacity – a necessary requirement following their AUD$50million investment in acreage expansion over the past 8 years. The additional capacity will allow HPA to process their increasing volume of hops in a timely fashion, ensuring they produce consistently high-quality hop pellets so their brewing customers can make consistently high-quality beers.

The new facility will support the centralisation of pelleting and packaging hops from HPA’s Victorian and Tasmanian growing regions which will total 900 hectares or an estimated 2,400 metric tonnes by 2024. It will handle every hop bale pressed from crop 2024 onwards, producing in excess of 50 tonnes of pellets per day. In addition to centralised pelleting and packaging in a temperature-controlled environment, the site will become the administrative headquarters for HPA’s Victorian operation, including laboratory facilities and significant cold storage for both bales and finished goods. It will also be utilised as a training hub to develop the skills of HPA’s existing and future workforce. Bushy Park Estates in Tasmania remains integral to HPA’s operation, and their head office will remain in Hobart, Tasmania.

HPA’s Managing Director Tim Lord said “We’ve had our eye on this property for quite some time. Fortunately, the timing was right when it was offered for sale.” Lord was “thrilled to announce we’re continuing the expansion of our Victorian operation, which simply wouldn’t be possible without the support of our brewing customers and the local community.”

HPA’s Head of Sales and Marketing Owen Johnston is particularly excited about what this project will mean for brewers. He said “the quality of our finished product is critical to our brewing customers’ success. We make it our mission to provide the highest possible quality with the lowest possible variance. Centralising pellet production and packaging in a temperature-controlled environment will help us deliver on this promise and give our brewing customers even greater confidence in Aussie hops.”

The new pellet plant is scheduled to be operational by March 2024, with the first pellets produced by the facility available in May 2024.

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