Proteco owner Josh Gadischke in the company's new refinery.
Proteco owner Josh Gadischke in the company's new refinery. Will Hunter

Kingaroy oil company targets cosmetic market with upgrades

KINGAROY oil company Proteco now has a direct pipeline into the cosmetics market with its $3.2 million refinery.

The new refinery, which was commissioned last week, means the company can now produce refined oils from macadamias, peanuts and almonds.

Refining oil removes its impurities, including colour and odour.

Proteco owner Josh Gadischke said the elimination of those impurities made the oil ideal for products like moisturising creams, lip balms and massage oils.

"The refining process in a way improves the quality of the oil," he said.

The new refinery is the only one in Queensland, and one of seven in Australia.

Mr Gadischke said the company started producing almond oil five years ago but previously had to use a costly refining process.

"We would ship some of our crude almond oil overseas to have it refined and then ship it back so we could start developing some local markets within Australia," he said.

"That added a big cost to the product but it did allow us to open up some new customer channels.

"That gave us some confidence to invest the capital."

Proteco gave the refinery the green light in July 2014.

Mr Gadischke said normally a refinery like Proteco's would be unviable due to its small size.

"For us we can make it work due to the niche market we operate in," he said.

"This size suits the availability of the raw material.

"We're not competing against the large multi-national companies that are refining cooking oils."

Proteco will also continue to produce its cold press consumer oils.

The company hopes to produce its first refined oil this week.

Mr Gadischke said he expected the refinery to run at 50% capacity for the next 12 months.

Where produce comes from

Proteco sources its almonds from the Murray River region on the Victoria/South Australian border

Macadamias are sourced from Bundaberg to the Northern Rivers region in New South Wales

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