The CBH Group has commenced expansion and maintenance projects at 12 sites across the Western Australian receival network as the $750 million Network Strategy enters the construction phase.
CBH operations general manager David Capper said the co-operative had worked hard during phase one of the project and was pleased with the progress that had been made.
“The first phase of the Network Strategy was about establishing a plan for delivery. One of the most important aspects of a significant and complex project, such as our Network Strategy, is the people themselves who are tasked with doing the job,” Mr Capper said.
“We’ve taken the time to bring in the people and allocate resources appropriately, and, as a result, we’re now in the best position to deliver the Network Strategy effectively and efficiently.”
Mr Capper said phase two of the Network Strategy was now underway, and would centre on the construction and upgrading of 37 key projects, of which 300,000 tonnes of additional capacity would be added in 2017.
In preparation for last season’s record 16.6 million tonne harvest, CBH also made available 800,000 additional tonnes to the storage and handling network through a mixture of temporary, emergency storage and expansion projects.
“Our work so far has included adding open bulk heads at Wagin and Merredin, and opening the new Mirambeena site near Albany,” Mr Capper said.
“We installed new equipment at sites such as Dumbleyung and Beacon to improve turnaround times.”
Mr Capper added: “We’ve also been listening to growers as well as learning from what last year’s record harvest taught us to determine the priority sites for construction and maintenance in phase two”.
“In particular, the northern Kwinana area has come under heavy pressure for a number of years. To help manage similar situations in the future we’ve brought forward projects earmarked for this area so they’re completed sooner.”
The program of works across the northern Kwinana area includes expansion of storage and site enhancements such as weighbridge replacements.
“We’re also planning additional storage capacity through the central Kwinana zone, and equipment upgrades in the Esperance zone. Planning is already well underway for projects to take us into 2018,” Mr Capper said.
“We’re committed to designing and delivering enhanced services at sites that help our 4,200 growers remain competitive in a global market.”
“The Network Strategy will continue to evolve as we respond to changing needs of growers, but one thing remains true – the network is a key driver in how we create and return value for them.”