AN EXPANSION of the Sonac animal blood processing facility in Maryborough will more than double the plant’s capacity, according to the company.
Sonac plant manager Michal Kazmierczak said the project would also secure staff jobs and possibly create more employment.
“The upgrades are on their way,” he said.
“We are growing, we are investing money and we want to at least double our capacity.”
The plant processes blood collected from abattoirs into fats, proteins and minerals.
Mr Kazmierczak said the first step in the project involved connecting the plant to gas.
“Right now we process about 9000 tonnes of blood a year and we are planning to process about 20,000 tonnes a year,” he said.
“It will enable us to purchase more blood and process more.
“We are running at full capacity and as soon as we implement our improvements and new equipment we can process more.
“But we wouldn’t be able to do it without having gas onsite.”
A 3.8-kilometre gas pipeline must be installed to the factory from central Maryborough, running along the Maryborough-Dunolly Road.
“The main thing is to secure jobs,” Mr Kazmierczak said. “We’re also looking to employ more people on the administration side.
“It will make us more cost effective and more competitive in the market.”
The state government will provide $340,000 to the $2.5 million project. Member for Northern Victoria Damian Drum said the gas line expansion would open the area to new opportunities.