CBH Group is looking to deliver 700,000 tonnes of permanent storage before the next harvest after awarding some major build contracts this week.
As part of CBH's network strategy, it announced that it had awarded contracts to WA contractors, WCP Civil, Georgiou Group and WBHO Infrastructure for the delivery of a combined total of the new permanent storage across six receival sites, along with improvements to key infrastructure to enhance site efficiencies..
The scope of works at the respective sites includes civil and structural (includes earthworks and roadworks), mechanical and electrical works.
The contractor's respective receival sites are:
WCP Civil: Broomehill (77,400 tonnes), Lake Grace (84,000 tonnes) and Gairdner (46,800)
Georgiou Group: Cranbrook (152,000 tonnes)
WBHO Infrastructure: McLevie (236,000 tonnes) and Dowerin West (122,000 tonnes)
CBH has budgeted more than $150 million this year for network capital projects that will add more than 800,000 tonnes of new storage and associated inloading and outloading equipment.
CBH general manager project delivery Andrew Porter said the team remained on schedule to deliver a significant amount of new storage before harvest this year.
"The awarding of these contracts continues to maintain the pace that CBH established in 2018 to continually enhance the network," Mr Porter said.
"The Project Delivery team has worked closely with contractors of WA to ensure the builds are delivered safely, on time and to the highest quality and value to ensure we play our role in keeping our growers competitive.
"We have now finalised contracts for over two-thirds of our approved expansion projects pipeline for this year, and in coming weeks, we expect to award contracts for the remainder of the projects."
Mr Porter said through a tender process, several contractors were chosen to complete the work to ensure CBH diversifies and spreads risk.
"At the end of the day it is incumbent on us in any type of major build program to make sure we spread the risk, we don't want to give it all to one contractor and set them up for failure," he said.
"Through the tender process we selected the best contractor for each site and works."
The three contractors chosen have done work for CBH in the past.
Mr Porter said the new storage at the above sites would all be in the form of bulkheads.
"These are quite significant footprint storages and the traditional bulkheads are the right type for the locations and sites in question," he said.
Mr Porter said some of the sites were oversubscribed last harvest, such as McLevie, where emergency storage was built.
"We know we are building in the right place when sites become oversubscribed and we need to build emergency storage like we did at McLevie," he said.
"That emergency storage was built with a view that we were going to put in more permanent storage and so it was complementary to our new build this year.
"Operations have also done an excellent job of emptying these sites to enable a build program to go in there and work is already underway at all of these sites."
In terms of how far through the network strategy CBH was, Mr Porter said the key was that the way the co-op was seeing it with its planning, building and operating function, the PBO model, it was really an ongoing strategy.
"We are seeking to invest significantly over the coming years," he said.
"We made some good inroads last year, and continue to do that this year.
"As you can imagine, it is about safety number one and we want to set our contractors up for success."
Mr Porter said the network strategy really reflected the lifts in production growers were achieving on farm.
"Recognition and credit must go to the growers as they have been the pacesetters here," he said.
"We have seen massive increases in yields and very successful harvests and essentially we just have to make sure we are positioning our network to maximise grower service and grower value and this is just one examples of the tools we have to do that."