Following a two-year feasibility study, Cheetham Salt Limited has announced it will make a significant investment to upgrade its refinery in Price, South Australia.
It has already allocated $8 million for this first stage of the project.
Cheetham Salt CEO Andrew Speed says the project will enable the company to meet the evolving needs of its food customers in both domestic and export markets.
“The Australian food industry is vital for our business, and our export growth opportunities are almost exclusively in the food sector. For this reason, it is vital that we continue to satisfy the expectations of this segment,” Mr Speed says.
Cheetham Salt’s purpose statement is ‘We are entrusted to supply the world’s most essential mineral, enhancing life for every person every day’.
Mr Speed says the Price site upgrade, which carries the name Project Resilience, is one of the company’s initiatives that will enable it to fulfil its purpose.
“For us to be a trusted supplier to the food industry, we need to ensure our infrastructure and our food safety culture meet the expectations of our customers. The investment we are making in our Price manufacturing and warehousing facility is an integral part of the strategy.”
Price salt refinery has been in operation since 1919 and just recently completed its 100th harvest. The site offers a wide range of products that are available in commercial sizes from 10kg up to bulk truck loads. The facility also has a retail packing plant where Cheetham Salt can package salt for sale through supermarkets.
Salt from Price is exported to Asia, the USA, Europe and several other countries. About 90 employees work at the facility, which is in operation around the clock, seven days a week.
Project Resilience will be carried out over eight stages. The first stage of work is already underway and it will increase the plant’s capacity to dry salt. It will double the drying capacity, from 20 tonnes an hour to 40 tonnes an hour.
The second phase of Project Resilience will be to install optical sorting technology. This advanced machinery can detect anomalies in the salt.
By investing $45 million over several years to upgrade the site, Cheetham Salt says it will transform its Price facility into one of the biggest and best salt refineries in the Southern Hemisphere.
The company says it is proud of its long-term commitment to the local community and the project will improve job security for its employees.
Yorke Peninsula Council mayor Darren Braund welcomed Cheetham Salt’s investment in the region.
Price site manager Ryan Hodgson spoke to Mr Braund and elected members about the project during the Council’s meeting in early March.
“The presentation was very well received by the councillors and I think everyone is excited about the potential of this project,” Mr Braund says.
“Especially when you consider the range and quality of products that can come from the Price factory. There is worldwide demand for it. I think everyone is looking forward to seeing the results of the project.”
Earthworks on the construction stages of Project Resilience are expected to start in early 2021.