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Australia’s largest hop producer, 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 over 22,000 square meters which HPA plans to convert into a fully operational state-of-the-art pellet plant by 2024. The AU$20 million project will include the purchase of all new pellets and packaging . equipment that effectively doubles HPA’s current processing capacity – a necessary requirement following their investment of A$50 million in acreage expansion over the last 8 years. The additional capacity will allow HPA to process its growing volume of hops in a timely manner, ensure they produce consistently high quality hop pellets so that their brewing customers can make beers of consistent quality.
The new facility will support the centralization of pelleting and packing hops from HPA’s Victorian and Tasmanian growing regions, which will total 900 hectares or approximately 2,400 metric tons by 2024. It will process each bale of hops pressed from the harvest 2024, producing more than 50 tons of pellets per day. In addition to centralized pelleting and packaging in a temperature-controlled environment, the site will become the administrative headquarters for HPA’s Victorian operation, including laboratory facilities and a large cold store for bales and finished products. It will also serve as a training center to develop the skills of HPA’s current and future workforce. Bushy Park Estates in Tasmania is an integral part of HPA’s operations, and their headquarters will remain in Hobart, Tasmania.
HPA Managing Director Tim Lord said: “We’ve had our eye on this property for some time. Fortunately, the time had come to offer it for sale. Lord was “delighted to announce that we are continuing to expand our Victorian operation, which simply wouldn’t be possible without the support of our brewing customers and the local community.”
HPA Sales and Marketing Manager Owen Johnston is particularly excited about what this project will mean for brewers. He said, “The quality of our finished product is critical to the success of our brewing customers. We make it our business to provide the highest possible quality with the lowest possible variance. Centralizing the production and packaging of pellets in a temperature controlled environment will help us deliver on this promise and give our brewing customers even greater confidence in Australian hops.
The new pellet plant is expected to be operational by March 2024, with the first pellets produced by the facility being available in May 2024.