Lucky Bay is an innovative port development project on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula.
The $115 million development is South Australia’s first farmer and private equity partnership port, which involved securing $96 million in private investor equity and debt.
After an expression of interest phase last year, 120 EP grain growers indicated their support for the project with 377,000 tonnes of estimated throughput. These growers will acquire equity in the port for ongoing throughput over the next seven years.
Lucky Bay will provide an alternative grain storage and export option which will be fully operational for the 2019-2020 grain harvest.
The Lucky Bay Port Facility, a shallow harbour port located in the upper Eyre Peninsula grain catchment zone.
A state-of-the-art shallow draft transhipment vessel with a 3500-tonne capacity, allowing Panamax vessels to be loaded within the usual five-day industry standard. The transhipment vessel is currently under construction in China.
Grain storage facilities at the port, with the capacity to hold 387,000 tonnes.
Up-country storage at Lock with the capacity to hold 150,000 tonnes.
The Lock storage site will be built at the north-west corner of the town. The site will be equipped with 150,000 tonnes of storage, dual-automated 40-metre weighbridges and a dual-sided sampling office with automated probes. Similar infrastructure will be used at Lucky Bay, which will have two sampling offices.
Work is underway at the Lock site (a four-month build) and Lucky Bay bunker site (a five-month build), while stage one of the port at Lucky Bay is expected to be complete by the end of 2018.
The development would not be possible without the initial support of 120 growers who expressed interest in delivering grain to Lucky Bay and Lock.
The lower build cost and lower environmental footprint compared with traditional export port facilities in South Australia has made the financial feasibility of the investment easier to attain with a lower throughput requirement from growers.
The benefits of this project will flow through to farming families, and their local communities, as they secure equity in T-Ports and, as a result, a share of the profits of storing and shipping their grain.
EP growers who did not respond during the EOI period can still be involved. A retail fund will be set-up before June 2018 that gives growers the opportunity to have some cash ownership in the development and either become involved or further increase their support.