THE $250-million grain exports port at Port Spencer on Eyre Peninsula has secured funding, prompting Peninsula Ports to confirm work was now expected to start next month.
Peninsula Ports Chair John Crosby said global commodity trading company Aria Commodities, which is investing in infrastructure operating in WA, would be the principal funding partner going forward, after a funding agreement was approved at a board meeting in Port Lincoln today.
"Aria Commodities is expanding in Australia and it sees Port Spencer as the ideal location to support EP farmers as they export their high-quality grains to countries throughout the world," he said.
"Once the deep-water port is built, there will be significant benefits for the region, and we hope it will provide an economic boost to not just the EP, but to the state as a whole."
The Port Spencer grain export facility will be located 20 kilometres north east of Tumby Bay, with a capacity for 800,000 tonnes of grain.
It is expected the facility will be operational in time for the 2023 harvest.
Mr Crosby stated that as soon as the Port Spencer facility was operational it would "significantly" reduce truck movements from Port Lincoln's roads by providing an export alternative away from the city.
Peninsula Ports also said the port could save growers up to $20/t in costs by eliminating double handling, with a streamlined process ensuring grain can be stored directly on site and then transported via conveyor belts onto ships.
The port's ship loading capacity would be 2400t an hour.
Former parent company and proponent of Peninsula Ports, Free Eyre - consisting of a consortium of 488 farmer shareholders - will remain a shareholder.
"The directors of Free Eyre and Peninsula Ports are delighted to be able to take the final step towards building a new port to aid the further development of the grain industry on EP, while maintaining the direct connection between farmers and their market," Mr Crosby added.
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