Agribusiness & Food, Logistics, Ports & Terminals

Government support needed to continue GrainCorp rail rollout

GrainCorp shed at the Port of Portland. Photo: David Sexton

Rail infrastructure at GrainCorp’s Calleen receival site in regional NSW will be complete by July, well ahead of harvest, according to the company’s chairman Don Taylor.

Taylor shared the news while speaking last week as charity bike event Pollie Pedal visited Calleen.

“It’s fantastic [the event] could get out to Calleen as it represents the future of efficient grain handling in Australia,” Taylor said. “We are pleased to confirm the rail infrastructure on site will be operational by July.”

Construction of new rail infrastructure at the purpose-built site started late last year, with two 1500 tonne overhead rail bins currently being constructed.

Together, the overhead bins have a total capacity of 3000 tonnes, and can load a standard 40 wagon train in two hours, according to GrainCorp.

The system also features automatic sampling to support quality management and control.

GrainCorp’s southern NSW regional manager Sarah Roche said 110,000 tonnes of received grain at last harvest led the company to seek a rail solution.

“By having the rail operational we will be able to make full use of the new infrastructure to efficiently outload the grain at up to 1000 tonnes per hour,” she said.

“We expect most of the grain will be outloaded well before harvest.

“This is great news for growers as it means for the 2016/2017 harvest we will have the ability to rail out during harvest, ensuring we have the full capacity and flexibility of the site to service growers during the busy harvest period.

“Calleen has been designed and built as an export-focused site delivering a fast train cycle to Port Kembla. The investment in highly efficient infrastructure will reduce rail supply chain costs, which will translate into improved grain pricing and better returns for growers.”

Taylor wants this kind of advantage provided to growers throughout the network. But he says the company will need the government to help make that happen.

“We want more of our sites to be upgraded to this standard, but to make this possible we need support at both federal and state levels to upgrade government-owned rail infrastructure to match the increased capacity of these sites,” he said.

“Moving grain by rail is efficient, better for the community and keeps Australian grain competitive.”

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