Australia’s biggest co-operative will ramp up its presence in the fertiliser sales market after it approved a $55 million granular and liquid fertiliser storage facility near the Kwinana Grain Terminal. CBH chairman Simon Stead said the expansion of the business supported the group’s efforts to drive down fertiliser costs and increase the consistency of liquid urea ammonium nitrate supply for WA grain growers. Kerman Contracting will start work on site early in the new year, with the facility to be completed in the first half of 2023. The Environmental Protection Authority has recommended the facility for approval, subject to conditions relating to groundwater and spill mitigation. CBH entered the fertiliser market in 2015 and has recorded year-on-year growth of about 30 per cent. However, it has reached maximum capacity at its currently leased facilities at Kwinana and Geraldton. “With the approval of a custom-built storage facility near Kwinana Grain Terminal, CBH Fertiliser will begin a new phase of growth that will see the business enter the liquid fertiliser market and expand its granular fertiliser offering,” Mr Stead said. “The expansion of the business seeks to reduce growers’ on-farm input costs, which has been a strategy of the co-operative for some years, and improve the consistency of UAN supply in WA.” Mr Stead said the development involved building a 55,000-tonne granular storage warehouse and two liquid storage tanks, totalling 32,000t. The liquid storage facility will be connected to the wharf with a new pipeline along Kwinana Grain Terminal jetty. Mr Stead said the facility was designed to provide for future expansion opportunities. Head of fertiliser David Pritchard said CBH — currently ranked fourth of five fertiliser distributors in WA — will move up the ranking in terms of suppliers. “The business currently employs eight people, but that is expected to double in coming years as market share increases,” Mr Pritchard said. The capital expenditure will be paid for by CBH Fertiliser cash flows over future years.