EXCLUSIVE: NAIF primed to invest in $30M CQ beef project
A $30-MILLION cattle processing facility could be the first Central Queensland project funded by the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility.
Signature Beef, a company owned by Beef Australia chair Blair Angus, is in early discussions with NAIF about a loan towards construction and operation of a "greenfield on-farm beef processing facility near Clermont" called Signature Onfarm.
NAIF acting chair Khory McCormick confirmed the project recently moved into the "due diligence" stage, where NAIF will further assess the project and ensure that it could meet the investment mandate.
Last month, the investment mandate was changed to increase the proportion of a project that NAIF can finance and expand the types of infrastructure that will be eligible for finance.
The changes came after heavy criticism about the lack of funding in the two years since NAIF was formed.
This week, NAIF funded their first Northern Territory project, a loan for Humpty Doo Barramundi Pty Ltd.
Signature Onfarm is one of five Queensland proposals in the due diligence and execution phase, and is the first where any details of the project have been released.
Mr McCormick said the planned processing facility would include export accredited slaughter and boning facilities, fit out, equipment installation, rendering plant and effluent treatment facilities.
"It will be utilised to produce high quality, value added beef products completing the integrated supply chain for Signature Beef, currently exporting to 30 countries," he said.
"This processing plant will also provide improved access to processing for all beef producers in the Bowen Basin with both direct supply and service processing option.
"This project represents an important piece of multi-user supply chain infrastructure for the northern beef industry and will enable specialised packaging, a crucial element for a premium beef product.
"The project will also facilitate the transport and sale of the product both domestically and overseas."
The facility is expected to cost $30 million.
"NAIF is currently working with Signature Onfarm to progress this project further with a view to making an investment decision," Mr McCormick said.