Local family buys TAP AgriCo’s Powranna sites

Liz Wells January 24, 2022

TAP AgriCo’s Powranna silo site receives grain during a previous harvest. Photo: TAP AgriCo

TWO tenanted grain-storage sites in Tasmania’s Midlands region have sold to a farming family from nearby Cressy for an undisclosed sum.

The TAP AgriCo facilities at Powranna listed last year with Elders, and are located around 20 kilometres south of Launceston.

“There was healthy interest in the assets, including from the mainland,” Elders rural sales executive Adam Chilcott said.
“Ultimately, an existing shareholder was successful in obtaining the well-located and constructed facilities.”

TAP AgriCo was formed as a grain marketing and storage business for some of Tasmania’s largest growers, and in 2011 bought the Powranna Road site from Roberts Ltd.

The site features silos which enable a total of 11,500 tonnes of grain to be stored in numerous segregations.

In 2015, TAP AgriCo built a storage shed with capacity to hold 14,000t of grain on its second Powranna site, which boasts frontage to the Midlands Highway.

The sale of both sites settled late last month.

Following a change of strategy, TAP AgriCo late last year leased the facility to XLD Commodities, and its lease runs until November 2023 at $220,000 plus GST per annum.

Grain deficit

Tasmania has seen a significant increase in the value-adding of grain in recent years with the construction of the Ridley aquafeed mill at Westbury in 2019 which sold in July to Skretting Australia for $54.85 million, and the Danish-owned BioMar aquafeed mill in 2020.

They are Tasmania’s two biggest grain users, and the third, Tasmania Feedlot, is located next door to TAP AgriCo’s Midlands Highway site.

Owned by Japan’s retail AEON Group, the feedlot consumes an estimated 25,000-30,000t of barley per year.

TAP AgriCo has accumulated inputs for the aquafeed mills, the feedlot and other end users, including barley for Boortmalt’s Joe White Maltings plant at Devonport.

It has also handled and traded in pellets made on the mainland and used by Tasmania’s dairy and other sectors.

The ASX-listed ECS Botanics bought into TAP AgriCo in 2019 when it was looking at Powranna as a storage site for industrial hemp and other products.

Last year, ECS Botanics bought Murray Meds, which shifted its hemp-production focus to the Murray Valley in north-west Victoria.

Price expectations for the facility were around $3.5 million.

Combined area of the facilities is 7.7 hectares, and they include a weighbridge with a 60t capacity sampling stand and amenities, a Kotzur-designed and installed drive-over hopper system, and an aeration system for the silos.

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