A McGowan Government Value Add Investment Grant has delivered cutting-edge technology to provide tailored and higher quality sandalwood products for new global customers.
Quintis Sandalwood received a $500,000 grant to upgrade its production line and install sophisticated machinery in the processing centre at Kununurra and the distillery at Albany - expected to create around 20 new permanent full-time jobs.
The first stage of the work has been completed at Quintis Albany with the design, installation and commissioning of a continuous steam distillation (CSD) facility.
The CSD will significantly increase the capacity and quality of the sandalwood oil produced and will reduce water and energy consumption by up to 75 per cent.
The remaining part of the project is occurring in Kununurra with the installation of a splitter for de-sapping trees and colour sorting technology to accurately sort woodchips.
The aim of the project is to turn raw sandalwood into a range of high-value and bespoke consumer products for global markets. This includes high-end wood pieces to China, India and Japan, and essential oils for aromatherapy, cosmetics and personal care products globally - opening up access to a multi-billion dollar market.
The McGowan Government has awarded $10.2 million to 18 agrifood businesses in metropolitan and regional Western Australia this year through its Value Add Investment Grants to boost local food and beverage manufacturing. Businesses are required to match the grant funding dollar-for-dollar.
For more information about the Value Add Investment Grant recipients visit http://www.agric.wa.gov.au/VAIGrants
Comments attributed to Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
"Quintis manages more than 5,000 hectares of Indian sandalwood plantations here in WA and through its operations in Kununurra and Albany has grown its workforce to become one of the biggest employers in both regions.
"It is rewarding to see the investments this business is making with the support of a Value Add Investment Grant to build capacity, opportunity and regional jobs.
"The expansion of processing capability is estimated to result in 20 new full time jobs, with potential for a further 72 indirect roles created by this project.
"The McGowan Government's Value Add Investment Grants are a terrific initiative, expected to generate more than $132 million in private sector investment through business contributions, creating an estimated 600 new jobs across a range of industries including horticulture, seafood, beverages, meat and livestock and premium food products."
Comments attributed to Forestry Minister Dave Kelly:
"Quintis are to be commended for their ongoing investment in local jobs and commitment to innovation and expanding what is one of the world's largest, sustainable sandalwood plantation estates, right here in Western Australia.
"I'm really pleased to see how important programs like the McGowan Government Value Add Investment Grants, are enabling us to deliver on our commitment to help local businesses grow, create local jobs, and provide greater opportunities to access global export markets for WA industry."
Minister's office - 6552 6200