WEST PERTH, AUSTRALIA — The CBH Group takes its first step to expand its grain sites in 2020 by awarding the construction contracts.

CBH has approved the expansion of storage capacity at six sites, including 127,000 tonnes of additional storage at Brookton, 14,000 tonnes at Dale and 136,000 tonnes at Hyden.

“We are continuing to progress our network capital and maintenance projects for the benefit of all our growers,” said Jimmy, Wilson, chief executive officer of CBH. “Our growers operate in an increasingly competitive market, so these projects are about keeping fees competitive, increasing throughput capacity and efficiency and moving more tonnes to port at the right time.”

Of the contracts awarded, work has commenced at Moora, with the Georgiou Group expanding the site’s storage capacity by 132,000 tonnes of permanent storage through open bulkheads and upgrading the marshalling area.

Wilson said the awarded contracts were part of the 2020 network expenditure that is expected to be in excess of A$200 million.

WCP Civil has been awarded the storage expansion contract at both Konnongorring and Watheroo. Site storage capacity will be expanded at Konnongorring by 84,000 tonnes through open bulkheads while permanent storage capacity at Watheroo will be expanded by nearly 70,000 tonnes via open bulkheads. Both receival sites will have new conveyor loading systems installed.

“We’re pleased that we’re able to continue working with two Western Australian contractors, who are familiar with what the co-operative and our growers require for the busy harvest season and throughout the year when grain is transported to the port terminals,” Wilson said. “Our receival sites need to be built to last and withstand the many unique challenges that come with each harvest as we want to ensure our network is robust and sustainable for future generations.”

Ben Macnamara, general manager of operations at CBH, said while work had commenced on the first of the network projects this year, planning was already underway for projects in 2021 and beyond.

“While work continues on enhancing the network so we can receive grain faster from growers, we are also investigating ways to improve our capability of moving grain more efficiently from upcountry sites to our ports and onto ships for customers,” Macnamara said. “By refining and strengthening both our inloading and outloading capabilities, we’re further enabling our supply chain so that it can meet export demand at the right time to capture value for our growers’ grain.”