AUSTRALIA'S largest ever shipment of canola left Kwinana on Tuesday bound for Europe on the maiden voyage of the MV Harvest Frost.
The loading of the 78,000 tonnes of canola sourced from CBH by Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) onto the newest addition to its fleet began on Sunday via two chutes loading 1,700 tonnes an hour and ran round the clock until the vessel set off.
The previous largest shipment to leave Australia was in December 2012 when 64,804t of canola was loaded onto the MV Lyric Sun at Kwinana.
The Post-Panamas bulk carrier, which was loaded with non-genetically modified (GM) canola from CBH growers, has begun its 35-day journey from Kwinana to ADM's port facility and crushing plant in the Netherlands.
To celebrate the event, CBH and ADM hosted a group of CBH growers for a tour of the MV Harvest Frost, connecting the grower to the end user.
ADM distributes Australian non-GM canola to facilities across northwest Europe where it is processed and refined for use in products such as margarines and vegetable oils, bakery goods, frying applications, pharmaceutical glycerine and biodiesel fuel.
The MV Harvest Frost is the first vessel of its size to use Mitsubishi Heavy Industry's (MHI) proprietary Mitsubishi Air Lubrication System.
This system is also known as the air bubble system as air bubbles are produced at the bottom of the vessel in order to reduce drag between the seawater and vessel hull.
MHI reports that the system will achieve a 27 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions compared to conventional bulk carriers.
ADM Grain Australian general manager Tim Henry said he was "very impressed" with the state-of-the-art vessel, particularly as the cargo ship was using the energy saving air bubble technology.
The MV Harvest Frost is the ninth ship in the ADM fleet and two more ships, the Harvest Time and Harvest Rain will join the fleet in the next six months.
These three ships will be the largest in the ADM fleet.
"We move a lot of commodities around the world and we are wanting to grow globally," Mr Henry said.
"This is a part of our plans to do this.
"The Harvest Frost is the first ship we've bought new in our fleet."
In Australia, ADM is among the top five domestic grain merchandisers and is among the top five agricultural commodity exporters.
The business markets wheat, barley, canola and sorghum locally.
It is one of the world's largest agricultural processors and food ingredient providers, with more than 470 crop procurement locations, 285 ingredient manufacturing facilities and 40 innovation centres.
"We're proud that our newest, most modern vessel will make its maiden voyage out of Australia, and excited to be setting a national record in doing so," Mr Henry said.
"WA growers generally speaking have had a good season despite challenging conditions, and we are pleased to be able to help them reach global markets with their products.
"We look forward to continuing to work with growers and the Australian ag industry to help all of us succeed."
Last year, CBH marketing and trading sold and shipped more than 700,000t to European customers.
Canola production has increased significantly in WA in the past five years, with this year's expected production of 1.5mt slightly down on the 1.8mt produced in 2013.
CBH Group general manager for marketing and trading Jason Craig said the record shipment strengthened the co-operative's position as the number one exporter of Australian grain and the country's largest canola exporter.
"We traded 10mt in the past financial year and more than 6mt of that grain was shipped to CBH marketing and trading customers from around the world," he said.
During the tour of the MV Harvest Frost, CBH Group chartering and shipping manager Ben Geneve said the opportunity to host CBH growers was for many, once in a lifetime.
"We're able to show our growers firsthand how their grain moves through the supply chain," he said.
"Many have never seen the other side of the process once the grain leaves the local bin.
"Our canola is a part of a global trade and WA is a big supplier of canola to Europe.
"We have an advantage over our eastern counterparts due to our close proximity to these markets and this is something we capitalise on.
"There is a big demand (in Europe) for canola and shipments of this size assist in reducing supply chain costs to growers and customers."
The MV Harvest Frost is manned by 22 crewmen for its voyage.
The ship, which is powered by a 10,300 kilowatt engine is 40 metres wide and 237m long and without cargo it weighs about 95,000t.
The ship features a new bow shape and shallow draught, or distance between the bottom of the ship and the water line, which reduces resistance.