CBH Port of Albany_Photo courtesy CBH Group
The CBH Group exports wheat through its terminal at the western Australia Port of Albany.
Photo courtesy of CBH Group. 
WEST PERTH, AUSTRALIA —The CBH Group has commenced expansion and maintenance projects at 12 sites across the Western Australian receival network as the A$750 million Network Strategy enters the construction phase.

CBH’s Network Strategy is a A$750 million investment over the next five years focused on 100 sites that currently receive 90% of its annual average crop.

“The first phase of the Network Strategy was about establishing a plan for delivery,” said David Capper, CBH operations general manager. “One of the most important aspects of a significant and complex project, such as our Network Strategy, is the people themselves who are tasked with doing the job. We’ve taken the time to bring in the people and allocate resources appropriately, and, as a result, we’re now in the best position to deliver the Network Strategy effectively and efficiently.”

Capper said phase two of the Network Strategy is now under way, and centers on the construction and upgrading of 37 key projects, of which 300,000 tonnes of additional capacity will be added in 2017.

In preparation for last season’s record 16.6 million tonne harvest, CBH also made available 800,000 additional tonnes to the storage and handling network through a mixture of temporary, emergency storage and expansion projects.

“Our work so far has included adding open bulk heads at Wagin and Merredin, and opening the new Mirambeena site near Albany,” Capper said. “We installed new equipment at sites such as Dumbleyung and Beacon to improve turnaround times.”

CBH determined its priority sites by communicating with growers and listening to their input. 

“In particular, the northern Kwinana area has come under heavy pressure for a number of years,” he said. “To help manage similar situations in the future we’ve brought forward projects earmarked for this area so they’re completed sooner.”

The program of works across the northern Kwinana area includes expansion of storage and site enhancements such as weighbridge replacements.

“We’re also planning additional storage capacity through the central Kwinana zone, and equipment upgrades in the Esperance zone,” Capper said. “Planning is already well under way for projects to take us into 2018. We’re committed to designing and delivering enhanced services at sites that help our 4,200 growers remain competitive in a global market.

“The Network Strategy will continue to evolve as we respond to changing needs of growers, but one thing remains true – the network is a key driver in how we create and return value for them.”