Thursday 20th Sep, 2018

SPECIAL REPORT: Containerisation

Photo: Google Maps

SYDNEY’S Cooks River Intermodal Terminal is getting an upgrade with a new $14m grain container packing facility under construction.

The new facility will take grain offloaded from bulk trains and pack it into 20-foot containers ready to be moved the roughly 8km to Port Botany for export.

The new facility is being built by Australian Grain Handlers which is a joint venture between terminal manager Maritime Container Services (MCS) and GrainCorp.

MCS director, commercial development James Wright said the new infrastructure would benefit the rail mode share going in and out of Port Botany.

“At a minimum, the new grain facility will deliver an extra 10,000 TEU on rail – that’s roughly 250,000 tonnes,” he said.

“We’re expecting to receive about five bulk trains of grain per fortnight.”

While under construction at present, the grain packing facility is due to come online by the end of the second quarter of next year.

The facility will have a throughput storage capacity of 5600 tonnes of grain, and will be based around seven main receival and blending silos, along with three auxiliary silos.

Mr Wright said coming off the back of the new grain facility would be increased demand on MCS’s rail capacity.

“Obviously, the packing facility will take up some of our current rail capacity, so we’re proposing to add new capacity to cater to our intermodal transport,” he said.

“We’re proposing to put in a new, 600m rail line, which will improve utilisation of the site.”

The facility already has eight rail sidings and has the capacity to handle trains up to 1200m in length.

When the grain packing facility comes online, the need for food-grade containers is expected to skyrocket, so MCS plans to add an additional wash-bay facility.

“The approximate capacity of the proposed, double-stacked wash-bay facility will be about 64 TEU and it will certainly increase our ability to turn out food-quality units,” Mr Wright said.

The aim is for the wash-bay to come online by the end of next year.

While the grain packing facility is already under construction, the upgraded wash bay facilities and the new rail line are subject to the necessary approvals.

From the print edition August 10, 2017

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