CONSTRUCTION at the T-Ports bunker sites in South Australia, is well underway and the transhipment vessel is on track to arrive in Australian waters before the upcoming grain harvest.

T-Ports CEO Kieran Carvill said the bunker sites were close to being ready for harvest deliveries with only a few minor tasks still outstanding.

“We are excited to be able to open the sites in October for grain receivals,” he said.

“Construction is complete and now we are awaiting connection to mains power with SA Power Networks with final IT systems to then be installed in coming weeks.”

The two bunker sites have a combined storage capacity of approx. 500,000 tonnes–360,000 tonnes in 10 bunkers at Lucky Bay and 140,000 tonnes in six bunkers at Lock.

Mr Carvill said T-Ports was in discussion with major grain traders in regard to publishing pricing at Lock and Lucky Bay and he encouraged growers to ask for a T-Ports option in their contracts.

Construction at the port site is well underway. Concrete contractor Ballestrin is currently on-site pouring concrete for the silo foundations. The major silo tunnel floor and walls have been poured and work is currently focussed on the preparation for the pours of the three silo slabs.

Earthworks contractor Buttrose has commenced the wharfside filling works in conjunction with placing and compacting the top layer of the road loop around the port. The haul road joining the bunker site to the port site has been completed along with the reconstruction of the acoustic mound.

“Next month, Ahrens will move onto site to construct the silos,” Mr Carvill said.

“There will be three 8000-tonne silos and a road intake building built at Lucky Bay port.

“Ahrens has ordered the required equipment and has begun construction of various items at its own locations, which it will then transport to Lucky Bay.

“Kilic Engineering will be supplying equipment including bucket elevators and conveyor systems for the inload/outload of grain.”

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The Lucky Bay port site will be able to receive grain at a rate of 1000 tonnes per hour, while outturn onto the TSV is expected to be around 1500 tonnes per hour.

The port will be completed by December and ready for shipping by January/February.

In Shanghai, installation of the material handling systems on the transhipment vessel, the Lucky Eyre, is well advanced.

“The equipment that forms the material handling systems includes grain scrapers, bucket elevators, boom for loading the ocean-going vessel, gantries and electrical systems,” Mr Carvill said.

“The equipment is being supplied by a range of companies including Australian manufacturers and is currently being installed by ZPMG and CCCC in Shanghai.

“Early commissioning of the vessel will take place during August with the ship due to arrive in Australia before harvest.”

Mr Carvill said the conditions off Lucky Bay had been considered and factored into the construction of the transhipment vessel, which will be able to operate in wind speeds up to 25-28 knots and wave heights up to 2.5 metres.

The transhipment vessel will load ocean-going vessels five nautical miles off the coast.

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