TUMBY BAY, SOUTH AUSTRALIA – Viterra’s Tumby Bay site is receiving a million-dollar upgrade in time for the 2017-18 harvest. New grain receival technology is being installed at the site, including a new classification office, a fully automated 40-meter-long weighbridge and automatic grain probes.

Viterra said the Tumby Bay project is another example of the company’s ongoing contribution to the South Australian grain industry and wider economy.

James Murray, operations manager for the Western region, said the company’s investment at Tumby Bay would improve service levels, efficiency and safety.

“The works will bring the site into the future and is the first of its kind within the Viterra network,” Murray said. “The automatic probes run the length of the truck on overhead tracks and will be controlled by an employee with a joystick inside the classification office. Visual inspection of the truck will be via video cameras on the probes.”

The upgrade is being pushed through for safety.

“With employees no longer probing at height, it made sense to put the classification office on the ground to remove the need for stairs and improve safety and efficiencies,” Murray said. “The automated weighbridge is technology that has been operating at Outer Harbor for the past few years so we know this works well. It has been a significant project with contractors working at the site since June and growers will ultimately reap the benefits when harvest gets under way.”

Michael Hill, group operations manager, said Viterra continues to invest millions of dollars into the network to provide a safe, efficient and sustainable supply chain for its grower, domestic and export customers.

Flinders University recently conducted an Economic Impact Study and concluded Viterra’s contribution to the SA economy was valued at more than A$3 billion between 2010 and 2016 – or over A$500 million a year – with total annual employment the equivalent of more than 2,700 full time roles.

“We have a large capital works program and continue to make investments despite the pressures being placed on our business through soaring electricity costs and the higher levels of regulation, when compared to other supply chains,” Hill said. “We have added over a million tonnes of storage to our network in the past two years, which will benefit the state’s grain industry for years to come.

“We have also purchased millions of dollars-worth of on-site equipment, including 21 new front end loaders, four new drive-over-hopper and stacker sets and more than 50 conveyor belt upgrades, for the benefit of the full grain supply chain.”

Other works implemented across the state this year include:

Thevenard: New 40m weighbridge worth more than A$300,000 is being built at the bunker site to improve turnaround times and avoid trucks having to travel through the town.

Brinkworth: Portable weighbridge worth A$135,000 is being installed at Brinkworth, allowing the site to reopen this harvest.

Loxton: Classification office layout being redesigned and upgraded to improve efficiencies and speed up turnaround times.

Rudall & Cummins: Sheds being resealed and painted.

Roseworthy: Additional land purchased to expand the site in future years.

Multiple sites: Multi-million dollar upgrades to electrical switch rooms; replacement/ refurbishment of shiploading infrastructure; and sealing and painting of steel bins.