Lucky Bay project update – January 2020

Lucky Bay project update

With T-Ports CEO Kieran Carvill 

Welcome to 2020! We hope you had a restful and safe Christmas and New Year break. Our thoughts are with all Australians who have been impacted by the bushfire crisis.

At T-Ports, work has continued throughout the festive season to ensure we are prepared for the first grain exports from Lucky Bay in coming months.

MV Lucky Eyre
Above: MV Lucky Eyre leaves the dock at Shanghai, destination Australia.

The transhipment vessel is on its way to Australia

The Lucky Eyre left Shanghai earlier this month and is due to arrive in South Australia in February.

She is now in Australian waters with all vessel importation and customs formalities to be conducted in Yamba, NSW.

Given the trip from China to Australia is her maiden voyage, some additional work may be required when she arrives in Australia, before she moves onto Lucky Bay during February.

At this stage, we anticipate exports to commence soon after her arrival in Lucky Bay.

Lucky Bay port silo construction. Photo: Mark Thomas

Port construction

Construction work at the port has been continuing through late December and January and has mostly centred on the mechanical installation of equipment and electrical cabling.

The physical infrastructure is now all in place and mostly installed, including the ship loader / conveyor to take grain from the silos onto the transhipment vessel at port. Works are now focussed on pre-commissioning on a staged basis including mechanical checks, electrical testing and silo sealing. Equipment testing will commence once the appropriate software has been rolled out in early February.

The export operations room that includes the control centre and laboratory to ensure grain meets export specifications, will be completed this week.

Dry and wet commissioning will be conducted over the next month.

Grain in storage

Grain in both the Lock and Lucky Bay bunker sites is being fumigated to ensure it remains export ready. There has been some movement of grain between the Lock and Lucky Bay bunker sites for consolidation and fumigation purposes and we expect this movement will increase as the export season kicks into gear.

Harvest overview

We’re very happy with what we’ve received in our first harvest, with more than 180 growers delivering into Lock and Lucky Bay sites. We appreciate the support shown by growers as they have shown patience as we work through teething issues.

When we look at the introduction of new harvest staff, new management/supervisors, new sites, and starting up new operational and management systems, the process has run very smoothly, and we are happy.

Having a smaller harvest, while disappointing for both growers and T-Ports, has given us an opportunity to identify any bugs in the system and look at ways to improve upon these. We have also been continually asking growers to provide feedback on what we can change or ways we can improve in general and we will be taking all of this feedback into consideration for the 2020 harvest.

The quality has been varied, with a lot of high protein wheat. We received H1, H2, APW, ASW, BAR1 and SP1 and introduced Active Binning which further broadened our segregation offerings. Segregations will be reviewed as we move forward into next harvest.

We would also like to thank those growers who participated in the post harvest survey. This feedback will be particularly useful in planning for the years ahead.

While we are happy with this initial harvest operations, we acknowledge there are some aspects we are still working on to guarantee you seamless service.

One of these is our online web portal and, in particular, the ability to access this from your mobile devices.

The functionality of this system enables our sites to be highly efficient with automated sampling probes and weighbridges feeding data back into the platform. Our focus has been on ensuring data integrity and accuracy, which are critical to ensure correct data on grain quality and tonnages delivered for traders to make payments and undertake exports.

For growers, accessing information about grain delivered to sites is relatively straightforward from a desktop computer, however, we know the preference is for this information to be easily accessible from a mobile device.

We are working on a mobile-friendly version of the portal and an app for the 2020 harvest.

Internally, we are identifying opportunities for improvement to assist and guide our decision-making during the year. The Business Liaison Group will be instrumental in reviewing this list and providing feedback on additional areas for investment.

This email update was sent to subscribers on 28 January 2020. To subscribe, head to the Contacts page.


MV Lucky Eyre transhipment vessel