CBH upgrades grain storage

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CBH's Broomehill site.
Camera IconCBH's Broomehill site. Credit: CHB

CBH is rolling out its biggest permanent storage upgrade program in history with the grain handler signing off on three major construction contracts this month.

Broomehill, Lake Grace, Gairdner, Dowerin, McLevie, Wickepin, Narngulu, Cranbook and Dulyalbin are in line for upgrades ranging from 60,000 to 236,000 tonnes.

CBH unveiled the $150 million plan last week, revealing it would upgrade the nine sites with more than 700,000 tonnes of storage, combined, by harvest.

Once complete, CBH’s permanent network storage would be more than 1.45 million, 650,000 of which was installed last year ahead of WA’s second-biggest harvest.

CBH project delivery general manager Andrew Porter, pictured, said work started last week and would be complete between July and September.

“It’s important to listen to what our harvest is telling us,” he said.

“A lot the sites we are building this year have been what I would refer to as ‘heavily subscribed’ or ‘oversubscribed’ and we could see the sites that needed the expansion.

“Some of the sites ... McLevie to name one ... were inundated at harvest this year (2018-19).”

WPC Civil was awarded the contract to install 77,400 tonnes of storage at Broomehill, 84,000 at Lake Grace and 46,800 at Gairdner.

Georgiou Group was chosen to install 152,000 tonnes at Cranbrook. WBHO Infrastructure is to install 246,000 tonnes at McLevie and 120,000 at Dowerin West.

The successful tenderer to install 106,000 tonnes at Wickepin, 60,000 at Dulyalin and 180,000 at CBH’s new Narngulu site is expected to be announced in coming weeks.

Mr Porter said the works were both civil and structural in nature, and included earthworks, roadworks, mechanical and electrical works.

“The works are creating open bulkheads and the associated support infrastructure, including sample sheds, ground conveyors, receival pits,” he said.

“In a bulkhead environment we are trying to optimise the handling of the grain ... bulkheads are relatively inexpensive compared to fixed storage like silos.”

The works mark the phase of CBH’s $750 million Network Strategy, which was announced in 2016 and included a plan to create “100 super bins” in WA.

CBH has spruiked the strategy as a way to focus its attention on the 100 grain receival sites that receive 90 per cent of the State’s average crop.

The planned installation of 180,000 tonnes of permanent storage at Nargulu has caused angst with some nearby residents, who told local media this month they were disappointed their local council had approved the site.

But Mr Porter said the installation would ease pressure on surrounding sites after “substantial amounts” of grain were delivered across the Geraldton Port Zone at harvest. “There have been a number of growers in that area calling for increased services in that area,” he said.

“It complements a number of surrounding sites and obviously the port precinct, to enable the Geraldton Port to work more effectively.”

“The Project Delivery team has worked closely with contractors of WA to ensure the builds are delivered safely, on time and to the highest quality and value to ensure we play our role keeping our growers competitive.”

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