WEST PERTH, AUSTRALIA — Emerald Grain announced on Sept. 19 that  it will purchase the Ardlink grain storage and receival site at Ardlethan, New South Wales, Australia.

Under new ownership, the site and nearby rail land will undergo a A$3 million redevelopment to transform it into a 120,000-tonne facility with rail out-loading capability.

Emerald Grain Managing Director John Murray said Ardlethan growers should see the full benefits within the next 12 months.

“Ardlethan is a key growing area for Emerald Grain and we plan to make significant improvements to the site in order to better compete for local grain,” he said.

Emerald will upgrade the site and improve the facilities and equipment to improve turnaround times. Improvements include bunker and road upgrades as well as new drive over stackers and weighbridges.

“Civil work will begin on the site during the next two weeks and equipment orders have already been placed,” Murray said. “Over the course of the next three months, Emerald Grain will build an out-loading facility which will efficiently load grain to rail using Qube trains provided under a long-term arrangement.”

Grain from the site will predominantly be fed to the new grain terminal being built at Port Kembla, of which Emerald Grain is a partner.

Murray said connecting the site to rail in partnership with Qube would significantly lower the cost of taking grain to port.

“These are savings that can be passed onto the grower – local growers should see a more attractive bid for their grain at Emerald Grain Ardlethan in the future,” Murray said.

He said the site’s previous part-owner, Bill Preston, would remain involved in the site as a consultant.

“We have had a great relationship with the previous owners. Mr. Preston brings strong local knowledge and has good standing within the community and we are pleased to have retained his involvement in the site,” he said.