Emerald Group subsidiary Australian Bulk Alliance (ABA) has announced it is concluding a $5 million strategic upgrade and review of its grain storage facilities around South Eastern Australia in preparation for the coming harvest.
Upgrades include the construction of additional storage capacity at three sites, the purchase of new fast intake equipment as well as the addition of new affiliate sites to ABA’s storage and handling network.
Now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Emerald Group, ABA handles more than a million tonnes of south eastern Australia’s grain each year across 13 sites and its Melbourne port facility.
Group General Manager Supply Chain & Operations John Warda said the upgrades were part of the Emerald long-term efficiency strategy designed to deliver stronger returns to growers.
“Last year Emerald made a $120 million investment into expanding its supply chain capabilities when it acquired ABA’s storage network, the Melbourne port terminal and new train services.
“Our aim is to grow and upgrade our supply chain, make it more efficient, improve grain quality and pass those savings onto growers,” Mr Warda said.
Grain storage site improvement works due to be completed before harvest include:
•Elmore: A $900,000 upgrade taking capacity to 70,000 tonnes and providing faster road intake services with new B double capable receival hoppers.
•Werneth: $2 million worth of improvements taking capacity from 55,000 tonnes to 90,000 tonnes. The upgrade includes new bunker storage and vertical silos as well as road improvements to speed up turnaround times.
•The Rock: A $500,000 investment including a new weighbridge and increased intake capacity.
•Goolgowi: $800,000 invested in new sampling and weighing facilities, roadways and canola-capable fast in-loading equipment
•Nullawil: A $400,000 investment in new equipment to help improve intake rates.
•Mr Warda said Emerald had also entered new partnerships with two existing grain storage sites in NSW.
“We have signed an agreement with Ardlink to incorporate their Ardlethan storage site as part of the ABA network. Combined with Emerald’s dedicated freight services and its grain terminal in Melbourne, this agreement will provide Ardlethan’s growers with competitive freight and additional marketing companies buying grain at the site.
“We’ve also joined forces with our grain marketing partner Southern Ag Venture at their Ungarie site which will operate under the ABA banner from this harvest. This 50,000 tonne capacity site has been set up to provide growers in the area with a convenient delivery point and provide faster turnaround time during the harvest period,” Mr Warda said.
“With ABA now part of the Emerald network, we have been able to improve the standards of safety and quality control, and with this further investment we are able to reinforce that we are serious about improving the grain handling capabilities to gain a larger market share and create real value for our grower customers.”