PERTH, AUSTRALIA — The CBH Group invested A$240 million in the network this year to enhance supply chain efficiency, maintain the network and expand storage capacity.

In the 12 months ended Sept. 30, CBH added approximately 1 million tonnes of new permanent storage, installed throughput enhancement projects at 36 receival sites and set up 16 new weighbridges.

The investment is part of CBH’s ongoing investment into the network to keep fees competitive, increase throughput capacity and efficiency and meet export demand.

Pieter Vermeulen, CBH general manager of project delivery, said the works completed this year built on the accelerated pace of delivery of network projects in recent years.

“Since 2018, we have added more than 1.7 million tonnes of permanent storage and delivered more than 45 throughput enhancement projects that enables CBH to receive grain faster, meaning reduced waiting times at site during harvest,” Vermeulen said. “We have worked closely with the contractors to ensure the builds are delivered safely and to the highest quality for the benefit of growers.”

Ben Macnamara, CBH general manager of operations, said the ongoing investment in the network would provide growers with an improved and more efficient network. 

“By adding storage to the network and improving our capabilities in inloading grain we are steadily working toward meeting the increased pace at which growers are delivering at harvest time,” Macnamara said.

CBH has completed the last of the permanent storage expansion projects for harvest, including the largest of this year’s projects at the McLevie receival site.

McLevie has permanently tripled in size with 236,000 tonnes of new storage added through six new open bulkheads, with two new fixed conveyor loading systems that can receive grain from trucks at 500 tonnes per hour. The site’s total capacity is now approximately 330,000 tonnes.

Other sites include:

  • Broomehill – 77,400 tonnes added from two open bulkheads, two Drive Over Grids (DOGs) installed, and an exit weighbridge.
  • Cranbrook – 152,000 tonnes added from six open bulkheads, three new conveyor loading systems and one conveyor loading system upgraded to 500 tonnes per hour. In addition, traffic flow has been improved across the site.
  • Wickepin – 106,000 tonnes added from two open bulkheads and the permanent upgrade of two existing emergency open bulkheads, two new conveyor loading systems, a new exit weighbridge, a new truck marshal area and relocation of sample hut to improve traffic flow (storage expansion works at this site are expected to be completed next week).

CBH set up 16 new permanent 36-meter weighbridges. The cooperative noted longer weighbridges will eliminate the time-consuming process of weighing individual axles and ensure accuracy.

The following sites received new:

  • Inloading weighbridges: Bonnie Rock, Broomehill, Doodlakine, Kellerberrin, Lake Grace, Merredin, Metro Grain Centre, Mindarabin, Morawa, Muntadgin, Warralakin, Wellstead and West River.
  • Exit weighbridges: Konnongorring, Moonyoonooka and Narngulu.

Vermeulen said Moonyoonooka received an exit weighbridge following bottlenecks experienced at the site last year. 

“Adding a second weighbridge now allows trucks to weigh out without impeding the flow of traffic into the site,” Vermeulen said. “We hope this will significantly reduce cycle times, congestion and the number of vehicles on site at a given time and improve safety.”

CBH also has installed mobile exit weighbridges at the Brookton, Corrigin and Moora sites, while longer term solutions are being determined.