T-Ports bunker site at Lock near completion

While little is visible from the road north out of Lock, construction on the grain storage bunkers is well on its way.

During the past few months 180,000 cubic metres of earth has been moved at the site, with civil construction weeks from completion.

The Lock bunker site will hold 150,000 tonnes of grain.

Civil construction at the Lucky Bay bunker site is also near completion, and contractors will soon be moving onto the construction of the port.

While the development was originally planned to be finished in 2018, the aim is now to have the supply chain operational for the 2019-2020 harvest.

T-Ports general manager Tim Gurney said the Lock site, Lucky Bay port and the trans-shipment vessel were all on track to be ready by then.

Early in the new year, work will begin on installing 10 kilometres of bunker walling across both storage sites.

The bunker walls have been sourced locally through Kimba business Lienert Engineering.

Fencing, trenches, power and communications have all been supplied by Eyre Peninsula contractors.

Mr Gurney said T-Ports was “really trying hard to stick local where it’s viable,” and that contractors that had come from outside the region were hiring local workers where they could.

He said beyond jobs during construction, the company goal of keeping supply chains near the farms would help keep jobs up in regional centres.

“It doesn’t put them 200 kilometres away,” he said.

Construction on the two sites will be a quick process considering the scale of the project.

Mr Gurney said the $115-million project was the largest capital spend for a new grain supply chain within an 18-month period in the state.

Off the back of the development, he said T-Ports were “knee-deep” in potential further projects across the state, including on the Eyre Peninsula.

He said the company planned to become a “major player… in lifting the economy of South Australia via numerous supply chains.”