PARKSIDE, SOUTH AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA — Viterra invested A$6 million in infrastructure at its Port Lincoln site to support the transition to road transport and ensure the site can provide a high level of service to local and meet shipping demand from export customers.

The new infrastructure officially was unveiled on Nov. 12 with Viterra hosting local growers to show them changes to the site and familiarize them with the new traffic management flow.

The upgrade is to help efficiently manage the movement of grain in the region as part of Viterra’s overall focus on providing an efficient, cost-effective and sustainable supply chain to growers, buyers and exporters.

Nick Pratt, Viterra operations manager for the Western region, 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 vessels in under three days with loading rates of up to 3,000 tonnes per hour, which provides significant value for the industry,” Pratt said. “We have strong demand for shipping out of Port Lincoln in the coming months with bookings from multiple exporters bound for different export markets.”

The upgrade includes the conversion of three sheds to unload trucks, electrical upgrade works and construction of roadworks for a new class of high productivity vehicles.

“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,” Pratt said. “The A$6 million we’ve invested in this project forms part of our A$15 million capital investment at the Port Lincoln site over the last three years, and we plan to inject an additional A$3.8 million in 2020.”

Pratt said it has been a significant project for the business, which has utilized as many South Australian contractors as possible.

“We have a long-term commitment to providing grain storage and handling services to Eyre Peninsula growers, including the Port Lincoln terminal, and will continue to focus on investing in areas that give our customers the greatest value,” Pratt said. “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. 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.”

This is the most recent in upgrades Viterra has made to its Australian facilities. In October, the company invested A$4 million into its Gladstone facility. It included a new classification center, automatic grain probes, fully automated 40-meter weighbridge and shed resealing.