Ridley Corporation’s fish feed plant in Tasmania goes live

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© Ridley Corporation
© Ridley Corporation
Leading Australian feed manufacturer, Ridley Corporation, officially opened its new extrusion plant in Westbury, Tasmania, last week. The factory is targeting the salmon and fish feed sectors as well as pet food producers.

The production facility has the capacity to manufacture an initial 50,000 tons of extruded feeds, said the company. Its strategic location, in the North of the state, is aimed at customers in Tasmania, mainland Australia and New Zealand. 

Using some of the latest technology available for increased manufacturing flexibility, the plant also allows Ridley to meet changing demand for sustainable raw materials over time, said a spokesperson for the producer.

Capacity at the plant can be expanded in the future, she added. 

“There are a number of incremental improvements that can be made to the existing equipment to add capacity.” 

The design of the plant also ensures that space has been left to allow for duplication of the existing production line and expansion of all storage capabilities, the spokesperson told us. 

Ridley received AUS$2m in grant funding from the Tasmanian government to support the project. The facility has also resulted in the creation of around 20 full time permanent positions. 

CEO exits, profit announcement​ 

In June, Ridley announced that its CEO, Tim Hart, was to exit the business. In a separate ASX statement release​ last month, the feed producer also predicted that its full-year profit outlook would be lower than analyst forecasts.

Ridley said it was anticipating full-year net profit of between AUS $22m-$24m, with analyst consensus forecast coming in at AUS $25m. The prior year equivalent result was AUS $17.4m. 

Hart had been over six years in the CEO role at Ridley. The company did not go into any detail about Hart's exit, just saying its board had felt it was the right time for a leadership change. He is being replaced by non-executive Ridley director, David Lord, on an interim basis, until a permanent successor is found, said the company.

In the release to the ASX, Ridley said it would continue to focus on its domestic growth plans and would accelerate the commercialization of its franchise feed additive, Novacq.

In April this year, construction started on the company’s new pig and poultry feed-manufacturing site in Victoria, which, with an annual capacity of more than 350,000 tons, is set to become the largest of the company’s 21 facilities throughout Australia.

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