WEST PERTH, AUSTRALIA — The CBH Group has completed a major A$15 million upgrade of its Munglinup, Western Australia receival site, 112 kms west of Esperance Port, nearly doubling the site’s storage capacity ahead of the 2011-12 harvest.

The upgrade, which will be officially opened on Aug. 9, involved the construction of a new 60,000 tonne sealed R type storage facility and the addition of two 30,000 tonne open bulkheads, bringing the storage capacity at the site to almost 260,000 tonnes.

The previous total capacity of Munglinup was 138,000 tonnes.

CBH Group Esperance Zone Manager Mick Daw said with some 94,000 tonnes now undercover, Munglinup has the capacity to store significantly more high-value canola under the best conditions.

The upgrade also gives the Esperance Zone the ability to offer more segregation flexibility, which supports initiatives like quality optimization and the introduction of GM canola.

“With Munglinup a key site for us in the Esperance Zone, now consistently receiving 90,000-100,000 tonnes and growing demand for more segregations, it made sense to spend the time and money now to ensure our growers have the services they need in the future,” Daw said. “The increase in undercover storage means the canola will be protected and maintain the highest market value possible.”

CBH Group Chief Executive Officer Andrew Crane said the Munglinup upgrade reflected the grower-owned cooperative’s commitment to reinvest a significant proportion of its surpluses in maintaining an efficient world-class storage and handling system for Western Australian growers.

“Our members have told us they consider the value we return to them through the provision of an efficient yet low cost storage and handling is one of their highest priorities,” Crane said.

Construction of the Munglinup upgrade was undertaken by a collaborative team of representatives from CBH Group’s operations and engineering departments and kicked off in April 2010.

A number of construction innovations were used on the project including the first time CBH had used a deep compaction and ground improvement system to prepare the building area.

The roof steelwork was modeled in a 3D drafting package, potentially saving many labor hours on site in design errors and rework.

The bulkheads were completed in time for the 2010 harvest and the R type sealed storage will be ready to accept the 2011 harvest.