Grain handler, Viterra, has invested $6 million in infrastructure at its Port Lincoln (South Australia) site to support the transition to road transport and ensure the site can provide a high level of service to local growers as well as meet shipping demand from export customers.
The new infrastructure was officially unveiled this week with Viterra hosting local growers to show them changes to the site and familiarise them with the new traffic management flow.
The major upgrade to help efficiently manage the movement of grain in the region is part of Viterra’s overall focus on providing an efficient, cost-effective and sustainable supply chain to growers, buyers and exporters. It includes the conversion of three sheds to unload trucks, electrical upgrade works and construction of roadworks for a new class of high-productivity vehicles (HPV).
Viterra Operations Manager, Western Region, Nick Pratt, said the Port Lincoln site balances being a local delivery site for growers with being a key export terminal in South Australia for multiple exporters shipping a range of commodities.
“We can efficiently load vessels larger than Panamax size in under three days with loading rates of up to 3,000 tonnes per hour, which provides significant value for the industry,” said Pratt.
“We have strong demand for shipping out of Port Lincoln in the coming months with bookings from multiple exporters bound for different export markets.
“Port Lincoln is also a key site for Eyre Peninsula growers to deliver into and the new infrastructure will improve efficiency and help growers deliver more quickly at the site given there is more unloading points and a larger area to operate in.
“The $6 million we’ve invested in this project forms part of our $15 million capital investment at the Port Lincoln site over the last three years, and we plan to inject an additional $3.8 million in 2020.”
Pratt said it’s been a significant project for the business which has utilised as many South Australian contractors as possible.
“We have a long-term commitment to providing grain storage and handling services to Eyre Peninsula growers through the Port Lincoln terminal, and will continue to focus on investing in areas that give our customers the greatest value,” he said, adding that investments at Viterra’s upcountry sites have also formed an important part of the smooth transition to road transport. “Our Cummins and Lock sites underwent roadwork upgrades for trucks to safely and efficiently outturn and we’ve built an additional 50,000 tonnes of storage at Cummins, and also installed extra equipment at the site, as well as at Rudall, to efficiently load grain from silos to trucks. This harvest, we’ve created efficiencies that we’ve been able to pass back to growers and made investments in the supply chain for the benefit of growers including reducing freight rates, dynamic binning for barley and the new Viterra app.”
(Image: Viterra Western region Operations Manager, Nick Pratt, and City of Port Lincoln Council Mayor, Brad Flaherty, at Viterra’s grower event.)