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$3 million investment in Elmore

Emerald Grain staff and customers celebrated the announcement of a $3 million upgrade to the Elmore grain storage site.

GRAHAM WILLIS August 13, 2014 3:56am

Emerald Grain managing director John Murray (right) with grain farmer Vern Wilson.


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Australian company Emerald Grain hosted 150 growers and customers at Elmore on Thursday to celebrate its $3 million upgrade to the Elmore grain storage site.

The new facility will benefit growers with faster turnaround times and higher grain quality standards.

Emerald Grain supply chain and operations group general manager Ron McCalman said the planned upgrades were in response to feedback from district growers.

‘‘While the site delivered strong competition in the area, it did not allow as efficient truck turnaround times as growers would have liked at harvest,’’ he said.

‘‘We’ve taken the feedback on board and committed to a $3 million upgrade, which will significantly improve turnaround times during busy harvest periods.’’

The works includes new roadways, a new sample platform and office, an extra weighbridge and new bunkers suitable for receival from drive-over stackers.

The extra bunkers will more than double its storage capacity from 50,000 tonnes to 110,000 tonnes.

Mr McCalman said the investment was part of Emerald Grain’s and its owner Sumitomo’s wider strategy to invest in key grain assets in south eastern Australia, which lead into its ports in Melbourne and Port Kembla.

‘‘We are committed to investment in Victoria’s a supply chain to create more competition for growers’ grain,’’ he said.

‘‘Our aim is to provide growers with an efficient, alternative pathway to markets like Asia and the Middle East.

‘‘With the world population predicted to hit 10 billion by 2050 Sumitomo brings a diverse Asian customer base and our quality grains will be eagerly sought by these customers.’’

The Elmore site is linked by road to Emerald Grain’s Melbourne port terminal, which exports up to 1.5 million tonnes of grain to almost 40 destinations a year.

Emerald Grain operates an office in Rochester where regular training courses are run.

Managing director John Murray said the arrangement benefited the community, bringing people to the town who spend on accommodation and food.

‘‘Later this year we intend to conduct our strategic planning conference in Rochester, which will again boost the local economy,’’ he said.

District grain farmer Geoff Elliot welcomed the announcement.

‘‘Today has shown Emerald will continue to grow as they are prepared to look after their customers and listen to them,’’ he said.

‘‘This site will become much more user-friendly and with shorter turnaround times it will make us more efficient at the other end of the supply chain.’’

The event featured guest speaker Jane Bunn, best known as WIN News weather reader for the past five years.

Holding a graduate Diploma in Meteorology and having studied atmospheric Science at Monash and Pennsylvania State University, US, Ms Bunn’s presentation kept the audience spellbound.

She spoke at length on how weather could be accurately predicted and the best technology for accessing long-term forecasts.

As to the possibility of an El Nino phenomenon this year, she said while early indications had forecast El Nino, those factors had since dropped away and taking this into account, it should not eventuate.

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