Grain growers on upper Eyre Peninsula will have an alternative delivery option with a T-Ports bunker site at Kimba set to be completed in time for this year’s harvest, while capacity at the company’s Lock site will also be expanded.
T-Ports has announced that it will build a new facility at the Eyre Premium Hay premises east of Kimba.
Chief Executive Officer Kieran Carvill said the expansion projects highlighted T-Ports’ commitment to working in partnership with growers and are part of the company’s plan to continue increasing grain throughput and give South Australian growers choice.
“Growers at both Kimba and Lock have been strong supporters of our grain supply chain, as have many others across the EP. Given current harvest predictions, we’re now able to offer an alternative storage option for this part of the catchment zone,” he said.
“While upper EP growers have had the opportunity to deliver direct to our port at Lucky Bay since it opened in 2019, the Kimba site will give them a delivery option much closer to home so they can move tonnes from the paddock more efficiently and cost-effectively at the peak of the harvest.
“We will continue to monitor other opportunities to support our grower customers right across the catchment area in the future as we know they recognise and support the benefits of competition in the EP grain supply chain.”
The T-Ports facility at Kimba will consist of four bunkers with a total storage capacity of more than 70,000 tonnes. Grain intake will be via high-capacity drive-over hopper stackers and existing IT systems will be in place to ensure seamless receival data capture. T-Ports will utilise the site’s existing weighbridge and partial roadways.
At Lock, a new 300m long bunker and an additional DOH stacker access road will be built, while an existing 150m bunker will be upgraded, in time for the upcoming harvest.
Both sites, as well as the bunker site at Lucky Bay, will receive the major wheat and barley grades, with active binning in place to capture additional value.
“As the first and only part-grower-owned alternative supply chain on the EP, T-Ports is committed to delivering value to grain growers through competition,” Mr Carvill said.
“Growers on EP have benefitted from an alternative provider in the market since our bunker sites at Lock and Lucky Bay began operations for harvest 2019.
“We’re keen to ensure growers keep maximising their profits through ongoing competition and lower costs.
“We expect growers from around Kimba, Buckleboo, Darke Peak and nearby to notice significant benefits, particularly given we’re expecting an above-average crop this year, based on current estimates.
“We are also committed to supporting regional businesses and communities and we’re very pleased to be in partnership with Eyre Premium Hay, a locally owned and operated family company.”
Eyre Premium Hay principal and grain grower Matthew Vandeleur said the new T-Ports’ facility at Kimba would provide multiple benefits for growers on upper EP.
“It means we can reduce paddock pressure at harvest time, increase usage of our own assets and considerably lift our bottom-line profits,” he said.
“Having the option to deliver to Kimba means we can better utilise our labour on-farm and reduce our weather risk.
“We can also take advantage of the more flexible operating hours offered by T-Ports and the company’s willingness to work closely with farmers to achieve our common goals for greater productivity and profitability.
“T-Ports are good to work with. They’ve listened, earned our trust and it’s a pleasure now, for us at Eyre Premium Hay, to share a facility with them.”
T-Ports will also continue to work closely with Eyre Hub, with chairman Andrew Baldock saying opportunities for collaboration with T-Ports would continue to be assessed on a case-by-case basis.