Melbourne’s grain export terminal is celebrating a year of records following its first full financial year of operations under Emerald Grain’s stewardship.
Annual port throughput hit a ten-year high of 1.4 million tonnes in the period July 2012 – June 2013.
Exports included around 1.3 million tonnes of bulk shipments of wheat, barley, canola and corn and 100,000 tonnes of containerised grain.
The grain was shipped to 17 countries throughout Asia, Africa, the Middle East and the Pacific.
A record number of ships berthed at the terminal this year too, with 47 vessels loading an average of 27,000 tonnes each.
“We are extremely pleased with the way the terminal is performing. Depending on the season, we could match or beat our record again this year,” Emerald Grain Group General Manager – Supply Chain & Operations John Warda said.
Grain moving through the terminal comes from farmers in the Mallee, Wimmera, North Central Victoria and the New South Wales Riverina.
Mr Warda said the higher-than-average throughput is in part due to Emerald’s utilisation of Victoria and New South Wales’ train network.
“This year Emerald’s trains have hauled more than 500,000 tonnes of grain to Victorian ports, primarily through our own Melbourne Port Terminal.”
The terminal aims to receive at least 50 per cent of all grain via rail to help increase efficiencies.
Mr Warda said plans were in motion to expand the terminal’s capacity over the next three years.
“Subject to the Port of Melbourne Corporation’s agreement, we are proposing to build additional grain storage and add extra road intake facilities to improve the throughput capability at the port.
“Once these works are complete, the Terminal will be capable of exporting around 2.4 million tonnes per year,” Mr Warda said.