WITH the eyes of the nation’s grain industry firmly upon the Western Australia harvest, given the drought conditions extending down much of the east coast, WA-based bulk handler CBH has geared up for the season by putting in more than 1.5 million tonnes of storage capacity.
Grain deliveries are expected to start rolling into the co-operatives northern Geraldton port zone receival centres within days and the company is confident it has sufficient storage to cope with what is expected to be an above average season.
CBH has put in more than 650,000 tonnes of permanent storage and more than 900,000 tonnes of emergency storage for the 2018-19 harvest as part of its ongoing capital expenditure program.
And the company is prepared if a kind finish to the season means yields end up being better than currently anticipated, saying there is scope to put in further 200,000 tonnes of storage if required.
CBH operations general manager David Capper said the investment was all part of the company’s long term network strategy, designed to deliver faster and better services to its grower members.
He said flexibility would be a critical factor this year.
“Our harvest preparation has included the capacity to accommodate for a significant amount of emergency storage, which provides us with the flexibility to manage high volumes of grain deliveries in localised hotspots, which is anticipated to be in the Kwinana Zone.”
As part of that, the company purchased 19 additional Drive Over Grids (DOGs), mobile devices that can quickly and conveniently increase a receival site’s grain unloading capacity.
In terms of the long-term storage, there will be big increases in capacity in the wheatbelt at Kellerberrin, 138,000 tonnes, the Avon Valley, York, 86,000 tonnes and in the Great Southern at Broomehill, 72,000 tonnes among other projects.