Agribusiness & Food

CBH Group to invest $4B into bulk infrastructure

The CBH Group has selected a new rail services provider, which will be responsible for rail logistics planning services including train planning and scheduling, tracking, maintenance, inventory control and crew management.

The CBH Group plans to invest $4 billion over the next 10 years into its network infrastructure and assets.

The co-operative will invest between $350 and $450 million each year to expand and improve current receival, storage and outloading infrastructure in line with its strategy to reach a monthly export capacity of 3 million tonnes by 2033 or sooner

Network investment projects for 2023 include site expansions, storage refurbishments, temporary storage builds, accommodation, throughput enhancements, receival equipment upgrades and rapid rail outloading facilities.

In addition, CBH is in the process of purchasing new rail rollingstock, and unlocking supply chain capacity in the Kwinana Zones by progressing work on the Avon narrow-gauge/standard-gauge transfer facility.

Chief Operations Officer Mick Daw said last year’s record crop reinforced the need for CBH to continue with increased levels of investment in the network, particularly in outloading projects that are critical in generating price value for growers in the first half of the year.

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“As the crop size continues to grow, we must invest more to improve our ability to receive the harvest efficiently, sustain current assets, and build infrastructure to increase the tonnes to customer capability of the network,” Daw said.

“Over the last five years, CBH has invested more than $1.2 billion in the network, and we are pleased to commit to investing $4 billion over the next 10 years.

“Increasing the capacity of our network is critical to maximising the value of growers’ grain in international markets, and sustainably creating value for WA growers, both current and future.”

The $350 to $450 million range is a significant increase on previous years’ network investment. Over the past five years, CBH has invested an average $240 million per year, with $285.3 million the most invested in FY2018/19.

Over the past two years, CBH has added an extra five million tonnes of permanent and temporary storage to the network.

Chief Project Delivery Officer Sam Gliddon said temporary storage played a significant role in bringing in last year’s record crop and will be an important part of the network infrastructure mix moving forward.

“If we look at how much temporary storage has been added to and planned for the network over the past two years, CBH will have increased its entire network storage capacity by over 20 per cent in just 12 months,” Gliddon said.

“This is a phenomenal effort, and much needed across all zones. Our strategy includes converting many of these temporary storages to permanent specifications in the future.”

CBH will work through the approvals process with government stakeholders while procuring long lead items for track and outloading facilities, including steel, sleepers, bins and conveyors.


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