Lucky Bay project update
With T-Ports CEO Kieran Carvill
We hope the season is progressing well for you and you are receiving plenty of rain!
We have compiled this information as a series of Frequently Asked Questions … see below.
Will T-Ports be ready to receive grain for the 2019 harvest?
Yes, T-Ports will be open for grower receivals for the 2019 harvest.
The bunker sites are now ready for harvest deliveries. All infrastructure is built and, equipment has been installed, including weighbridges, automated sampling probes and bunker walls. The drive over hopper (DOH) stackers were delivered and commissioned in 2018.
As part of commissioning the Lock site, we received 4,500t of off-farm grain through ADM in April. This grain will be transported to Lucky Bay when required for export.
Where is port construction up to?
Construction at the port site is well underway. Concrete contractor Ballestrin is currently on site pouring concrete for the silo foundations. Earthworks contractor Buttrose has only wharfside filling works to complete and top layer rubble placement for the road loop around the port. The haul road joining the bunker site to the port site is practically complete and undergoing final trim.
Ahrens will mobilise to site in early August and commence the structural, mechanical and electrical scope. The first phase of this work will be the construction of 3 x 8000t silos and a road intake building at Lucky Bay port.
Ahrens has ordered the required long lead items of equipment such as the bulk weigher, conveyors, elevators, dust filters and samplers and has begun fabrication of various items at its own locations, which it will then transport to Lucky Bay. Kilic Engineering will be supplying equipment including bucket elevators and conveyor systems for the inload/outload of grain.
Commissioning at the port is planned for December
How is the transhipment vessel progressing?
The transhipment vessel is on track to arrive into Australian waters before harvest.
The TSV, named the ‘Lucky Eyre’ is currently in Shanghai and is having material handling systems installed. The equipment that forms the material handling systems includes grain scrapers, bucket elevators, boom for loading the ocean-going vessel, gantries and electrical systems. This process is now well advanced, with equipment being supplied by Australian and international suppliers currently being installed by ZPMG and CCCC in Shanghai.
Early commissioning of the vessel will take place during August and September before the ship leaves for Australia.
The TSV has been designed to operate in wind speeds up to 25-28 knots and wave heights up to 2.5 metres. The TSV will load ocean-going vessels five nautical miles off the coast of Lucky Bay
How will I sell my grain through T-Ports sites?
All relevant information has been provided to grain marketers over the past month to enable them to post prices ex-Lucky Bay. Grain marketers are now able to capitalise on the strong interest from growers in the catchment area by including a dual pricing option to include T-Ports deliveries when writing contracts.
Growers have indicated they want a T-Ports delivery option given the significant freight and storage savings available, subject to proximity to Lucky Bay. For further information, please contact T-Ports directly.
T-Ports is not a grain marketer. Rather, we have provided all relevant information on charges and fees to grain traders, who in turn, will calculate those fees into the grain prices they offer growers. We anticipate the price offered to growers ex-Lucky Bay will be highly competitive as a result of lower costs to traders that they will pass onto growers.
We will be providing more detail on our warehousing, receival, freight and other charges soon. We encourage growers to check other local pricing to compare the difference.
How will T-Ports be managing grain classification?
T-Ports receival standards will follow industry best practice and will be based on standards set by Grain Trade Australia, the Australian Oilseeds Federation and Pulse Australia.
We will be implementing a well-known tried and tested IT platform which has been used in the grains industry for many years, by Adelaide-based software company Eka.
To ensure accuracy and consistency in the classification process, T-Ports will employ the latest technology to automate as much of the process as possible. Automatic truck probes and protein machines will be linked directly to computers, eliminating potential manual data entry errors.
What grain segregations are likely to be received at T-Ports sites?
We are looking to receive most major grades of wheat and barley, for example, H1, H2, APW and ASW wheat and F1, F2 and possibly malting barley.
As the season progresses, and through ongoing consultation with growers and traders on their needs, we will determine whether this changes and communicate that widely.
Generally, there are six main grades that make up approximately 80% of grain grown on the EP.
What equipment is available in terms of weighbridges and sampling?
Both the Lucky Bay and Lock bunker sites have dual-automated 40 metre weighbridges, each of 140t capacity. Lucky Bay has two dual-sided sampling offices with automated probes, and Lock has one.
How many trucks will be able to unload at any one time?
There will be six drive over hopper (DOH) stackers deployed to the Lucky Bay bunker site and four DOH stackers at the Lock bunker site.
In addition, T-Ports has invested in new technology with bunker sweepers. These South Australian designed and manufactured machines are designed to make outloading grain from bunkers easier and quicker by directly feeding into trucks or the stacker. By automating grain retrieval from bunker floors, waste is minimised, and operational efficiency is increased.
Software company Eka have been appointed for the development of a grower portal/interface system.
What is the maximum capacity of the facilities?
The Eyre Peninsula storage facilities have total storage capacity of approximately 524,000 tonnes:
- 360,000 tonnes storage in 10 bunkers at Lucky Bay
- 140,000 tonnes storage in six bunkers at Lock
- 24,000 tonnes of storage in three 8,000t permanent silos at Lucky Bay port
How will grain be transported from Lock to Lucky Bay?
T-Ports has been working over the past 18 months to develop the T-Ports Eyre Peninsula Freight Group, or T-Ports Freight Service. This group of local carriers from across the catchment zone enables T-Ports to offer an efficient freight service to our grain traders and growers.
T-Ports is committed to supporting local employment by engaging local carriers and ensuring competition in our catchment zone. It is our aim to ensure the T-Ports EPFG get first preference for all commodities/goods that will be handled by T-Ports.
The EPFG director is Daniel “Bulldog” Gregory from Kimba Transport. If you need any further information on the EPFG please call Tim Gurney on 0428 867 070.
T-Ports’ registered Grain Trade Australia freight rate from our Lock site to Lucky Bay is $13.50/t. This freight rate has been advised to the trade and may be reflected in the pricing differentials between the two sites.
We encourage growers to keep an eye on freight rates in this new competitive environment.
How is recruitment progressing for management positions and harvest casuals?
Our recruitment drive is well underway and we are receiving a steady stream of applicants. The T-Ports strategic plan will revitalise key regional towns/centres over the coming years and offers many opportunities.
We currently have a number of positions vacant – Site Manager, Quality & Logistics Coordinator, WHS & Training Officer. There are also some positions available on the marine/TSV side of operations.
Applications can be submitted online via our careers page
What are the benefits of on farm storage?
There are many benefits to storing grain on-farm. We would categorise the two types of on-farm storage as follows:
- Harvest surge capacity: short term storage such as silo bags designed to be filled during harvest for post-harvest delivery, usually no longer than the following February, e.g. only a couple of months. This allows continual harvest operations on-farm without requiring breaks to deliver grain to a central storage site.
- Longer-term storage: More permanent storage that will need to be fumigated and managed carefully to ensure grain quality and integrity is maintained.
Grain traders may offer a premium for grain stored on-farm as it enables them to spread their risk. In addition, you’ll save money on delivering outside of harvest, particularly when using the EPFG. You may also be able to capitalise on higher grain prices outside the peak harvest period.
How is the channel dredging process going?
Dredging and seaweed raking/removal will take place over the next few months. T-Ports plans to pump sand to the beach from the initial dredge. This is subject to approval by District Council of Franklin Harbour, the Environmental Protection Authority and native title holders. Initial approval has been gained from the Coast Protection Board and Lucky Bay shack owners. These works are planned to be completed before summer.
On an ongoing basis, there may be some maintenance dredging required every year to remove seaweed or some sand from the entry channel, however, given the movement from the TSV and more traffic using the harbour, we anticipate this will be minimal.
How will excess dust be controlled?
At the port site, Burnley baffles (dust control mechanisms) will be installed, as well as dust filters on road grids. All conveyors will be covered. Bunker site roadways will be watered with dam water from dams which have been built on site.
What will be the PPE and safety requirements for truck drivers on-site?
Safety is a main pillar of our business and driver safety is paramount on site. Enclosed footwear and hi-vis clothing are essential when undertaking any deliveries to site. There will also be a short driver induction process upon your first delivery.
What will the site operating hours be?
Site operating hours will be determined once we consult with our Business Liaison Group and obtain feedback before harvest commences.
Can I purchase shares in T-Ports?
Yes. Shares can be through the wholesale trust or retail trust. For further information, please contact Ryan Wilson, Infrastructure Portfolio Manager, Inheritance Capital Asset Management, 0439 839 553, email@example.com.
As part of an initial expression of interest process, T-Ports contacted growers in 2017 to secure expressions of interest for grain to be exported through the new port facility at Lucky Bay. In this process, there were 120 growers who supported the project by expressing an interest to deliver more than 377,000 tonnes of annual grain throughput.
For every tonne of grain delivered to the Lock or Lucky Bay sites, each of those growers will be provided with $3 equity in the ICAM Duxton Port Infrastructure Trust. The amount will be capped at the annual throughput tonnes each grower committed to in their expression of interest. This will apply for a seven-year period, starting from the 2019-20 harvest.
Following this strong support, the target has been oversubscribed and we are unable to add any more growers to this initial listing.
The expressions of interest are not legally binding and there is no penalty for non-fulfilled commitments, therefore, there has been a reserve list established for those interested in becoming part of the Trust if there is any shortfall in supply from the earlier EOIs.
Who has invested in T-Ports?
T-Ports was established in 2018 as a joint venture between Inheritance Capital Asset Management (ICAM), Duxton Asset Management and Sea Transport Corporation.
ICAM is an experienced South Australian fund manager founded around the former investment team of a South Australian Government insurance fund, with well-known directors and a strategic investment stake by global agribusiness fund manager Duxton Asset Management.
Duxton Asset Management specialises in investments in direct agriculture and Asian emerging markets, and as one of the leading international participants in agricultural investments, currently manages or advises investments across 540,000 hectares of farmland on five continents.
Sea Transport is a world leader in shallow-draft, self-propelling transhipment vessels, offering specialist marine design and consulting services. Sea Transport have a unique understanding of technical, commercial and operational aspects of ship design, construction and operation.
This email update was sent to subscribers on 25 July 2019. To subscribe, head to the Contacts page.