New grain silos for Newcastle harbour

THE latest addition to Newcastle’s working harbour will appear on the horizon within the next fortnight.

Roof sheeting will be put on the first of five new grain silos that will make up the new independent Newcastle Agri Terminal on Monday.

‘‘We hope to have the roof of the first one finished by the end of the week,’’ the terminal’s executive director Jock Carter said.

‘‘We hope to have all of the silos up by July or August.’’

The five steel silos at Carrington will have a capacity of 60,000 tonnes and add to the port’s existing capacity of 120,000 tonnes.

It is the first addition to the harbour’s grain export infrastructure in 25 years.

The grain conveyor and ship loading system has been designed to minimise dust and noise pollution from surrounding residential areas.

‘‘Some people think there’s a choice between a working harbour or no industry,’’ Mr Carter said. 

‘‘I think there is an opportunity to have the best of both worlds; as you have new industry you can increase standards for things like dust. You can put more volume through but have a lower impact.’’

The project is expected to create 100 construction jobs and be a catalyst for associated business in the Hunter. 

Mr Carter and fellow executive director Martin MacKay are among the project’s investors , which also include grain exporters Glencore Grain, Olam and CBH Grain. 

‘‘Newcastle is a key hub for grain exports in this state, yet the recent NSW Grain Supply Chain Review conducted by the federal and NSW governments identified constraints in Newcastle as a major issue of concern,’’ Mr Carter said. 

‘‘We are fortunate to have had a great team of investors who have a real interest in introducing innovation and efficiency to the grain supply chain.’’

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