GrainCorp is contributing approximately A$1.35 million up front to the project, with the balance to be funded by government, and the ARTC. Other exporters will provide a user contribution over the next four years.
“We estimate that this project will allow up to 500 additional train movements to the port each year,” GrainCorp General Manager, Storage & Logistics Nigel Hart said. “This would remove the need for approximately 20,000 truck movements around Geelong and further afield.”
Hart said the project, which involves a track upgrade and removal of signaling bottlenecks, was part of GrainCorp’s “gamechangers” program to deliver substantial improvements to rail efficiency at the port.
Benefits of the upgrade include:
• Higher weight limits allowing significantly more grain to be carried per train;
• Up to a 50% increase in the proportion of grain arriving at the port on rail;
• A substantial reduction in “tipping time”, freeing up additional capacity and increasing throughput;
• Automation of signaling to allow 24 hour rail operation at Geelong and improved ability to reduce grain train turnaround times by 12 hours.
“This investment benefits Victorian grain growers by removing bottlenecks and giving their grain more efficient access to international customers. It also benefits the other exporters who use the port, as it allows capacity to be accessed more efficiently,” Hart said.
Hart acknowledged the Victorian government’s commitment to working with business and the grain industry to encourage more grain onto rail – as demonstrated by its positive response to the Grain Industry Logistics Taskforce and its support for other key rail projects around the state.
“The Victorian government has been very proactive and open to exploring ways to make Victorian grain as competitive as possible,” Hart said. “We look forward to working with them to deliver other recommendations of the taskforce.”
GrainCorp increased the productivity of its rail by 40% in the past four years. This project is an important step in the company’s target of driving a further 40% increase to productivity.