“This is the biggest winter harvest since 2010-11, where our network received 12.3 million tonnes by the same time,” said Nigel Lotz, general manager of operations for storage and logistics. “While harvest is almost complete in Queensland and New South Wales, we expect the harvest in Victoria will continue up to Australia Day.”
“Coonamble was our largest silo with nearly 400,000 tonnes of grain received,” Lotz said. “Walgett and Thallon received nearly 300,000 tonnes. Other silos such as Barellan, Warracknabeal and Quambatook are on the way to receiving close to 200,000 tonnes. The planning and resources needed to scale up by over 60% compared to last year posed some challenges, however we were able to take full advantage of our network.”
Developing larger and more efficient country silos has been a goal for GrainCorp in recent years, Lotz said.
“Prior to harvest we spent $21 million on improvements, including new stackers and upgrading existing bunkers and equipment,” Lotz said. “We also boosted employment of harvest casuals by 60% to 3,000 roles compared to last year.”
GrainCorp is now focusing on its export program.
“Our attention is now turning to the export program,” he said. “We have already moved over 1 million tonnes of grain from our silos to sub-terminals and ports. We have secured additional rail and road capacity to ship this grain, with the shipping stem heavily booked for the next six months.”
In December 2016, GrainCorp secured the relevant development approval (DA) to proceed with the A$8.1 million ($5.95 million) upgrade of its grain receival and train loading facility at Cunningar in southern New South Wales (NSW).
GrainCorp partnered with the Australian New South Wales (NSW) government in November 2016 to deliver a A$4.7 million ($3.5 million) upgrade to a major grain handling facility in Burren Junction, northern NSW. The completed site rail loading times will be reduced by 70% as a result of the upgrade, which will deliver faster cycle times to port with a freight savings of over A$6 per tonne, GrainCorp said.
GrainCorp’s Tocumwal site also was relaunched as part of the company’s regeneration project. The A$3 million upgrade included the extension of the rail siding from a 10-wagon, 150 meter siding to a full 40-wagon unit train (640 meter) siding. The traffic flow of the site also was substantially redesigned – improving turnaround times. The site has a 120,000 tonne capacity.