Project Scope

Working alongside Graincorp Oilseeds, COVA were involved with Project Force to deliver essential upgrades to the solvent extraction plant (SEP) at their Numurkah, VIC site.



With the total value of the project estimated at AUD56 million and the SEP total cost at AUD17 million, COVA collaborated with Desmet Ballestra to increase plant capacity of canola oil extraction from milled and pressed canola meal by up to 350%.

Standing at 30 meters high, the SEP houses over 40 major vessels including process and support equipment, with the largest being a 7 meter high rotary extractor, elevated at 6.5 meters within a 15 meter wide, 16 meter high atrium. To support the floors above the atrium, the building’s external bracing was used as a complex load transfer system, minimising the use of large and expensive custom fabricated steel sections. Similarly, transfer systems which were typically reserved for high-rise and long span structures, required large trusses to be assembled on the ground and lifted into position prior to installation of the surrounding structure.

To coordinate complex structural design challenges, the SEP’s 300T of bespoke galvanised structural steelwork was carefully designed using the latest in 3D structural modelling software, and allowed for design optimisation while minimising the risks associated with detailing and construction. Drawings were created from 3D representations and were used to coordinate all structural, civil and process designs for the plant.

The use of such technology and collaboration between multiple disciplines has not only allowed COVA to shape the civil, structural, mechanical, hydraulic, fire and electrical for the site, but has also allowed Graincorp to increase production and meet growing demand from a booming Asian market.