Port Spencer grain facility on EP approved

Port Spencer grain facility on EP approved

Agribusiness
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THE state government has ticked off revised plans for the Port Spencer deep water port grain export facility to go ahead.

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THE state government has ticked off revised plans for the Port Spencer deep water port grain export facility to go ahead.

The government approved an amendment to the Public Environmental Report for Peninsula Ports' $230 million Port Spencer grain port, which has paved the way for work to start on the project next month.

The PER amendment removes the storage and export of iron ore from the evaluated project to reconfigure the site for efficient grain storage, handling and export, with the potential for managing other commodities in the future.

The amendment follows Peninsula Ports' purchase of the land from Centrex Metals in June 2019.

The new facility is scheduling to receive grain for the 2021 grain harvest, which will deliver significant benefits to local growers and the wider Eyre Peninsula community.

Peninsula Ports chief executive officer Greg Walters said approval of the PER amendment followed significant public consultation across the region.

"We thank the state government departments, regional authorities, grain growers and other stakeholders for their contributions to the consultation and approvals process," he said.

"We're committed to delivering a new export terminal for the Eyre Peninsula, which will aid in protecting the clean and green reputation of the region's grain industry and significantly improving the competitiveness of the industry in reaching global markets.

"When complete, Port Spencer will be one of two deep water ports in the region, enabling large Panamax vessels to be loaded efficiently, cost effectively and largely irrespective of weather conditions.

"The Port Spencer facility will provide the opportunity for grower ownership and control of critical grain supply infrastructure.

"It will also have potential to manage other commodities, but this remains a long-term consideration and would need to be compatible with the primary purpose of clean, green local grain export at the site."

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The project will create up to 150 jobs during construction and a further 20 permanent local operational jobs including employment opportunities for Barngarla community members.

Operational staff numbers are expected to further peak at 80 staff during harvest.

Planning and Local Government Minister Vickie Chapman said the government was keen to start moving on these types of infrastructure projects as quickly as possible, given the economic benefits it will create for the state.

"The state government is working hard to get these types of projects underway as soon as possible to ensure we navigate our way out of the current economic climate," she said.

"Peninsula Ports' modified proposal has been through the rigorous major development assessment process to amend and update the original Public Environmental Report, and I'm pleased this is one of the first major developments I have been able to tick off as the new Minister.

"When completed, Port Spencer will enable large Panamax-sized vessels to be loaded and provide commercial benefits to the local grain industry through reduced transport costs, less double-handling of grain and increased market competition that could lead to improved prices offered to growers.

"The development approval that has been issued is subject to a comprehensive set of conditions to ensure construction and operation of the port facility proceeds in an orderly fashion and in a manner which minimises impacts.

"Before construction starts Peninsula Ports is required to provide final plans for all structures, along with the associated management and financial arrangements necessary to minimise impacts on the coastal and marine environment, and upgrade of the access road to the site from the Lincoln Highway.

"The development approval of this significant infrastructure project provides for on-site works to commence within two years and completion within five years."

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