Viterra starts $35M upgrade project at Wolseley site

Grain Central July 3, 2024

Stage 1 of the proposed upgrades to the Wolseley site. Photo: Viterra

VITERRA has commenced a $35-million project to upgrade its Wolseley site to improve the delivery experience for growers and meet the evolving needs of the industry.

The facility, located in South Australia’s Upper South East region, will be upgraded in two stages, with works expected to be completed by September 2025.

Stage one will include extending and constructing new bunker storage; installing two classification centres; adding a new automatic weighbridge and upgrading another; new and upgraded road connections; and creating a larger marshalling area to improve access during peak periods.

Commencing in April next year, stage two will improve works to bring fast rail-loading to Wolseley via two additional rail bins, an inload shed for trucks to fill bins, and construction of a rail loop allowing trains to loop around the bunker site for continuous loading.

This rail work will be managed by freight provider Aurizon.

Viterra chief operations officer James Murray said the project was the “single largest investment” in the company’s upcountry network.

“This project is an important step in Viterra’s focus of making the South Australian supply chain more efficient to compete with interstate and international markets of Black Sea, Canada, US and South America,” Mr Murray said.

“Our Wolseley site is a key asset in the Viterra network.

“Being situated on the Melbourne-to-Adelaide freight-rail line allows us to introduce fast rail loading to the site to connect local growers with our Adelaide ports, including our deepwater Outer Harbor terminal, for the most efficient route to export, playing a significant role in supporting local growers in the South East region of South Australia, and western Victoria, and connecting them with domestic and international consumers.”

Alongside improved loading experiences, Mr Murray said Viterra would also “pass back” a reduction in the freight costs which would result from a transition to fast rail loading.

He said the staged approach to the project would “ensure grower deliveries are not impacted during harvest”.

“We are planning to complete the grower delivery experience improvements before harvest starts, ongoing bunker expansions from November onwards, and the fast rail-loading stage in the last third of 2025.

“Our team has been working hard through the planning process of this project, seeking feedback and collaborating with growers, supply chain partners, council and local residents to ensure we can maximise benefits for all.

“We’re excited to progress the project with the submission of our development application for stage 1 in July.”

Mr Murray said the local community was also set to benefit from the works with fewer trucks queuing on external roads, less trucks moving grain from the bunker to the silo site, reduction in CO2 emissions due to greater volumes of grain moved on rail instead of road, and improved stormwater management.

“There will also be economic benefits to the region during construction and operations through job generation and increased local spend.”

Source: Viterra


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