T-PORTS, the company building SA's first farmer and private equity partnership port at Lucky Bay on the Eyre Peninsula, is looking to expand its operations to the Yorke Peninsula.
Plans for a port at Wallaroo are progressing through the development application process.
T-Ports chief executive officer Kieran Carvill said planning for the second port in its network had been underway for several years and included significant scoping studies of the coastal environment, shoreline, inland freight networks and economic feasibility to ensure the port's long-term sustainability.
The initial design is finalised and planning negotiations are underway with section 49 (Crown Development) approval required for the project at an advanced stage, with support from the Copper Coast Council and Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure.
Mr Carvill was looking forward to being able to offer Yorke Peninsula and Mid North graingrowers an alternative supply chain.
"The port at Wallaroo is the logical next step in the T-Ports journey," he said.
"We are at a stage where we are seeking the next stage of approvals with the relevant state government agencies and the Copper Coast Council.
"The feedback we've received to-date has been very positive, with growers looking forward to competition in the market.
"There are efficiencies and cost savings in building this port on the opposite side of the Spencer Gulf to Lucky Bay as we will utilise the same transhipment vessel, the 'Lucky Eyre'.
"Lucky Eyre is having material handling systems installed in China ahead of its arrival in Australian waters later this year.
"When the approval process is finalised, we will be speaking with growers and offering them the opportunity to become involved as shareholders, as we have done with Eyre Peninsula growers."
The development will include the port and loading facilities and bunker storage to be constructed in two phases.
The port will have silo facilities with about 32,000 tonnes of storage, while the second phase will see construction of bunkers with storage capacity up to 250,000t of grain.
Mr Carvill said construction on the port, which is expected to have an annual grain throughput of up to 500,000t, is likely to begin in 2020, with the site to be operational in 2021.
"The construction process will take between 12 and 18 months and during that phase we will look to utilise SA expertise and contractors as we have done at Lucky Bay," he said.
"We expect the Wallaroo port and bunker site to employ up to 60 people. Some of these would be casuals during peak periods such as harvest and shipping outturn."