BULK handler and terminal operator T-Ports is gearing up to take in grain from the 2022 harvest at Wallaroo to add to capacity at its existing intake sites at Lock, Lucky Bay and Kimba on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula.
T-Ports chief executive officer Scott McKay said feedback from Yorke Peninsula and Mid North growers indicated strong support for its Wallaroo site, now under construction, as a provider of additional competition in the supply chain.
Mr McKay said the company had recently started accepting shipping capacity applications for the 2022-23 season, with seven buyers now on board at T-Ports sites.
“We’ll be using the same transhipment vessel, MV Lucky Eyre, for shipping grain from Lucky Bay and Wallaroo and will look to manage logistics accordingly,” Mr McKay said.
“At this stage, we’re accepting bookings for shipping from Lucky Bay and strong demands for expressions of interest for Wallaroo while we work to confirm timeframes.”
“We have been meeting with growers over recent weeks and we’re pleased to be able to tell them we’ll be ready to receive their grain this year,” Mr McKay said.
“Construction on the bunker site and work on the port site is on track.
“We expect shipping from Wallaroo to commence later in 2023 and have been in regular communication with our clients to update them on the timelines.”
Mr McKay said T-Ports had only made minimal price increases over its first three years of operation, but an increase in costs meant an unavoidable increase in port handling and shipping charges this year.
“Unfortunately, the reality of doing business in 2022 is that the cost of everything in construction and operations has increased – labour, materials, fuel, accommodation, repairs, maintenance– and we can no longer absorb these costs.”
“The silver lining is that grain prices remain strong, and the season looks on track to deliver average to above-average yields.
“We’re continuing to engage with our key client and grower stakeholders to reinforce our commitment to delivering innovation, competition and value for money.”
T-Ports Wallaroo facility includes steel silos which can hold 20,500 tonnes of grain in total, a rock causeway to carry grain out to the transshipment vessel, and a nearby site with six bunkers which can hold a combined 240,000t of grain.