Bingera Mill.
Bingera Mill. Mike Knott

Bingera Sugar Mill goes nuts

THE unlikely combination of sugar and nuts is set to go ahead at the Bingera Sugar Mill, with a macadamia nut facility to be installed in one of the site's empty sheds.

The facility, which will be operated by Bundysort, a joint venture between Bundaberg Sugar and Bundaberg Macadamias, will dry and sort macadamia nut products in an existing shed.

A development application has been made with Bundaberg Regional Council and is in the public notification period until October 8.

The development application stated by the end of 2011, the plant will have processed about 1170 tonnes of nuts and hopes to process about 5423 tonnes per year by 2020.

But in a media release sent yesterday, Bundysort chairman Scott Coleman said by the end of 2020 the processing facility would increase nut-in-shell production to 1500 tonnes, up from 100 tonnes.

“We expect the Bundaberg Sugar macadamia orchards and the new facility at Bingera to employ about eight to 10 full-time equivalent employees,” he said.

The nuts will be sourced from orchards in the South Kolan and Moore Park Beach.

Australian Macadamia Nut Society CEO Jolyon Burnett said the Bundaberg region was one of the fastest-growing macadamia production areas in the country, producing about 20% of the 35,000 tonnes grown each year.

“It is quite possible that Bundaberg will become the main growing region in the country,” he said.

“That's partly because of the landscape, good soils and the land is cheap.

“Bundaberg also has some of the country's most experienced horticulturalists.”

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