The world’s largest Indian sandalwood grower, Quintis has officially opened a $700k new sandalwood oil production line at the Company’s 60,000sqm distillation facility in Albany, Western Australian, today.
The new continuous steam distillation line was officially opened by the Western Australian Minister for Regional Development; Agriculture and Food, The Hon Alannah MacTiernan.
Quintis CEO Richard Henfrey said the investment would enable the Company to produce four times more oil with the same volume of steam, reducing the Company’s water and energy requirements by 75%.
“A-grade sandalwood oil now takes two days to distil instead of nine days, reducing the company’s carbon footprint per kilogram of oil produced,” he said.
“The reduced retention time has also improved the oil quality.”
Quintis has previously produced its oil using the traditional batch method of steam distillation, a process which becomes uneconomical at larger volumes.
As a result, Quintis’ manufacturing and Research and Development teams were tasked with developing an alternate process to distil oil continuously, deciding to adopt a continuous in-feed and out-feed system commonly used in papermaking. Trials using a small-scale pilot plant were a success, producing oil that was superior and by-products that were better and lighter, prompting the company to commission the construction of a commercial scale process, a process which was officially opened today.
The continuous steam distillation line is the first in a series of projects that will improve scale and efficiency at Quintis in line with increasing harvest volumes of its sustainable plantation grown Indian sandalwood over the coming years. In total the program will see an investment of $1.7m across the Albany and Kununurra sites. This program has been aided by a $500,000 grant from the Western Australian Government’s Value Add Investment Grants program.
“This new process is better for the environment, better for product quality and reduces our costs, so it is a terrific investment. I would also like to thank the WA State Government for its support,” Mr Henfrey said.
The Quintis distillation facility employs 65 people in both processing and marketing roles.
Mobile: 0433 886 871