GrainCorp Cunningar grain terminal before the upgrade
GrainCorp's Cunningar site before the upgrade. 
Photo courtesy of GrainCorp.
WEST PERTH, AUSTRALIA — GrainCorp on Dec. 19 opened its upgraded grain receival site at Cunningar, located near Harden in southern New South Wales. The site had been undergoing an A$8.1 million upgrade that was jointly funded by the Australian government, local community, the Hilltops Council and GrainCorp.

“The Cunningar site project has set the benchmark of how public, private and growers can come together to deliver a fantastic outcome for the whole community,” said Nigel Lotz, general manager of operations at GrainCorp. “The broader Harden area is one of the most reliable cropping regions in Australia, so having access to a modern, efficient supply chain is vital for growers to realize their potential.

“We have been able to deliver one of the most efficient grain receival sites in Australia, with record turnaround times, rail loading and cycle times. This results in better prices for local growers and keeps Australian grain globally competitive. The more efficient site will move thousands of tonnes back to rail, removing 4,000 truck journeys from local roads reducing wear and tear and increasing safety for local communities.”

The upgrade of the grain receival and train loading facility is expected to improve train loading times by 80%, allow for a 24-hour turnaround time to port, increase competitiveness for local grain and deliver a A$10 per tonne benefit to growers.

Barry Alcorn, chairman of the Cunningar Grain Growers Committee, described the region as “one of the most reliable producers of high quality grain in Australia.”

“Now, more than ever, we have the supply chain to deliver it,” he said. “Having access to an efficient supply chain is a top priority for all growers in the area.”

The multi-million-dollar upgrade was first announced in December 2015 as part of the Australian government’s National Stronger Regions Fund (NSRF).

This continues to be the latest in a series of upgrades for GrainCorp. In November 2016, GrainCorp partnered with the Australian New South Wales (NSW) government to deliver a A$4.7 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 saving 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.