Viterra silo up for sale

Viterra silo up for sale


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Viterra is planning to put one of its recently-closed grain silos up for sale.

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AFTER announcing earlier this month it was closing 17 grain silos indefinitely this year, Viterra is making plans to put at least one of those sites up for sale.

"Viterra intends to list its Millicent site for sale (as a going concern) and we expect to commence the sale process in the coming weeks," operations manager Michael Hill said.

The move comes amid industry calls to offer up all the permanently closed sites for either lease or sale.

Mr Hill said the future of the remaining closed sites would be considered on a case-by-case basis.

"In the past, sites and infrastructure have been sold, leased or decommissioned," he said.

"If sites are decommissioned, work is carried out to ensure they are safe and kept tidy.

"Any interested parties who would like to discuss the future of sites or infrastructure should contact their local regional office or operations manager."

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District Council of Orroroo Carrieton chief executive officer Dylan Strong was meeting with Viterra next month, to gain clarity on the future of the Orroroo silos.

"Growers are disappointed with the lack of consultation on the silo closure and we have had no indication about what Viterra plan to do with the site," he said.

"Local growers use that site all year, not just at harvest.

"It would not be good to see that site mothballed, not while it's still operational, so whether there was an opportunity for a community-based model or another handler to operate the site."

ON-FARM STORAGE: Freeling cropper Corbin Schuster with the six silos, holding 1800 tonnes, they erected on-farm in 2016-17.

ON-FARM STORAGE: Freeling cropper Corbin Schuster with the six silos, holding 1800 tonnes, they erected on-farm in 2016-17.

Freeling cropper Corbin Schuster also questioned Viterra's decision to mothball local silo complexes that were fit for purpose only a year or two ago.

"You can't force a company to liquidate their assets, but letting the silos fall into a state of disrepair benefits no-one," he said.

"If Viterra did offer them up at a reasonable price or at auction, they could liquidate and free up some funds."

The Corbin family operation crops 2400 hectares.

They deliver their grain to Roseworthy at harvest.

They also have the ability to store up to 2500 tonnes in silos and 3500t in sheds.

Our on-farm storage was a big help during the last harvest and will be more-so this coming harvest with all the silo closures. - CORBIN SCHUSTER

Mr Schuster was concerned Viterra's recent silo closures could motivate growers to sell their grain elsewhere or build more of their own on-farm storage.

"Our on-farm storage was a big help during the last harvest and will be more-so this coming harvest with all the silo closures," he said.

"But increasing on-farm storage is driving the grain industry into the great unknown because there is no reporting of stocks.

"Soon we may not know what our state is really producing because of private storage. And the possibility of even less grain going into local silos could encourage the closure of more across the state."

He was also most concerned about delivering grain into Roseworthy at harvest time.

"If it is a wet harvest and there is more use of falling number machines, there could be massive bottlenecks at Roseworthy," he said.

Viterra said Roseworthy would have 12 elevation points, with an additional drive-over-hopper and stacker added this year.

"It will take the site's elevation capacity to about 3500t an hour," Mr Hill said.

"We are also investing in new ways to speed up receival times.

"For example, we are looking at changing our printing machines to thermal printers, which are capable of printing much faster and will, in turn, speed up our processes."

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