14/01/2022 - 15:22

CBH Group's $25m rail plan approved as fertiliser hub begins

14/01/2022 - 15:22

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The state’s largest grain handler has been given the green light to build a $25 million rail loading facility, as it breaks ground on its new $50 million Kwinana fertiliser project.

CBH Group's $25m rail plan approved as fertiliser hub begins
The rail will be connected to the main rail line along Great Southern Highway.

The state’s largest grain handler has been given the green light to build a $25 million rail loading facility, as it seeks to increase capacity at one of its key Great Southern grain receival sites.

CBH Group sought approval to build the new facility in Broomehill, south of Katanning, complete with six 1,000-tonne silos, an over rail bulk weigher and a road hopper.

As part of the development, CBH intends to lay two kilometres of rail siding at each end of the facility capable of storing and loading 60 wagon trains.

The rail will be connected to the main rail line along Great Southern Highway, which allows grain to be transported via train to Albany Port.

The proposal, earmarked for three lots with a combined area of more than 90 hectares, will enable CBH to double wagon train capacity and load the wagons in almost a third of the time it takes currently.

As a result, the proposal is expected to significantly reduce truck traffic on local roads, with additional material able to be transported via rail instead.

A number of issues were raised by surrounding residents during the public consultation period, including concerns around the impact of noise, dust and vibration during construction and the scale of the development.

But officers at the Shire of Broomehill-Tambellup said the issues had been substantially addressed, recommending the application be approved by the Regional Joint Development Assessment Panel, subject to conditions.

Members of the panel unanimously supported the proposal during a meeting this morning.

CBH Group believes the facility will be completed by later this year or in early 2023.

It has been a big day for the grain cooperative, which broke ground on a $50 million Kwinana Fertiliser Project it hopes will enable it to enter the liquid fertiliser market for the first time.

The project, granted final development approval in July, involves the construction of a storage facility for urea ammonium nitrate fertiliser products and a ship unloading and transfer pipeline along the existing grain terminal jetty.

CBH’s head of fertiliser David Pritchard said demand for fertiliser, particularly UAN, had grown in recent years, with the existing market struggling to keep pace.

He said the new facility would allow CBH to bring surety of supply to growers, and pass on the efficiencies gained through leveraging CBH’s supply chain to growers.

Construction of the project, which is being spearheaded by Applecross-based Kerman Contracting, is due to be completed in 2023.

CBH recorded a surplus of more than $133 million last year after an above average harvest and strong demand for grain.

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