The company responsible for building South Australia’s first farmer and private equity partnership port at Lucky Bay on the Eyre Peninsula is looking to expand its operations to the Yorke Peninsula, with plans for a port at Wallaroo progressing through the development application process.
T-Ports Chief Executive Officer Kieran Carvill said planning for the second port in its network had been underway for several years and included significant scoping studies of the coastal environment, shoreline, inland freight networks and economic feasibility to ensure the port’s long-term sustainability.
The initial design is finalised and planning negotiations are underway with section 49 (Crown Development) approval required for the project now at an advanced stage, with support from the Copper Coast Council and Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure.
Mr Carvill said he was looking forward to being able to offer growers in the Yorke Peninsula and Mid North regions an alternative supply chain.
“The port at Wallaroo is the logical next step in the T-Ports journey and we are at a stage now where we are seeking the next stage of approvals with the relevant state government agencies and the Copper Coast Council,” he said.
“The feedback we’ve received to date has been very positive with growers looking forward to competition in the market. Growers appreciate the need to increase competition in the state’s supply chains which will ultimately benefit them.
“There are efficiencies and cost savings in building this port on the opposite side of the Spencer Gulf to Lucky Bay as we will utilise the same transhipment vessel, the ‘Lucky Eyre’. She is currently having material handling systems installed in China ahead of arrival in Australian waters later this year.
“When the approval process is finalised, we will be speaking with growers and offering them the opportunity to become involved as shareholders, as we have done with Eyre Peninsula growers.”
The development will include the port and loading facilities and bunker storage to be constructed in two phases. The port will have silo facilities with approximately 32,000 tonnes of storage, while the second phase will see construction of bunkers with storage capacity up to 250,000 tonnes of grain.
Mr Carvill said construction on the port, which is expected to have an annual grain throughput of up to 500,000 tonnes, is likely to begin in 2020, with the site to be operational in 2021.
“The construction process will take between 12 and 18 months and during that phase we will look to utilise South Australian expertise and contractors as we have done at Lucky Bay,” he said.
“We expect the Wallaroo port and bunker site to employ up to 60 people. Some of these would be casuals during peak periods such as harvest and shipping outturn.”