NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA — Emerald Grain said on March 27 that it has entered into an agreement to develop a new grain handling facility at Port Kembla in New South Wales, Australia,  in a move to bring more competition to New South Wales’ grain supply chain.

The national grain trading, storage and handling group has signed an agreement to acquire a share in a consortium with listed logistics business Qube and grain businesses Noble Resources and Cargill.

The new facility will have the capacity to handle more than 1.3 million tonnes of grain per year, sourced from growers in the northern Riverina and Central West New South Wales. Emerald Grain Managing Director John Murray said New South Wales Grain growers are set to benefit from the new agreement.

“The terminal will bring more competition to the supply chain; improving services and reducing costs for New South Wales grain growers,” he said.

He said Emerald Grain’s storage and receival sites at Ardlethan, Coolamon and Goolgowi will feed grain through to the terminal via road and rail.

“And we are looking to bring even more storage sites into the network to provide New South Wales grain growers with an efficient, alternative pathway to international markets,” Murray said.

He said Emerald extended its existing lease of Qube locomotives and wagons as part of the agreement, meaning a long-term commitment to the third train in Emerald Grain’s South East Australian network.

“Our aim is to create a truly integrated supply chain from the farm gate to the international end user — by doing this we create efficiencies and premiums which are passed on to the grower,” he said.

In New South Wales, Sumitomo-owned Emerald accumulates grain through Southern Ag Grain, a joint-venture partnership with grower-owned Southern Agventure.

“Sumitomo is one of the world’s largest trading houses. Not only has it provided Emerald Grain the balance sheet to make further investment in ports and storages, but it is the connection to key processors and food manufacturers in our number one market — Asia,” Murray said. “Because Southern Ag Grain is 50% grower-owned, we provide that crucial link between the Asian end-user and the New South Wales grain grower.”

He said the proposed grain terminal would be completed by late 2015 and it would be operated on an open-access regime for all grain marketers.