RIORDAN Grain Services has confirmed it will lease Emerald Grain’s Edenhope Storage site in western Victoria for the upcoming harvest with a view to buy the facility post-harvest.
It marks the end of a lengthy search for a buyer for the storage, which Emerald Grain initially put on the market in April 2016.
Despite being located in a rich grain growing region relatively unserviced by bulk handling facilities, Edenhope Storage has proved problematic for its owners in recent years.
Last year the site did not open at harvest due to local government planning issues while there have been previous difficulties with grain losses due to a damaged bunker.
Mark Lewis, general manager of Riordan Grain Services, said the site would only take a relatively small amount of grain this season.
“It will be operational this harvest, but we expect we will only take around 15,000 tonnes,” Mr Lewis said.
Nominally, the site has a total capacity of 85,000 tonnes, but Mr Lewis said a couple of the sheds would not be used and there would be no bunker storage offered this year.
He said the company was currently meeting with local growers to assess demand.
“We’re working to get a handle on what receivals are likely and what segregations we should have in place.”
He said he hoped the site would have three tip-off points this harvest and was likely to take canola and barley, and potentially wheat and faba beans if the demand was there.
Mr Lewis said the decision to take over the site had been made with a long-term view.
“We’re very positive about the potential in the Portland port zone and this facility fits in with that.
“While this year, with the domestic shortage, we’d be unlikely to do anything for the export market that is something we’ll look at into the future.”
Riordan Grain Services currently operates other bulk handling sites at Lismore, Balliang and Lara in Victoria’s Western District.
Emerald Grain managing director David Johnson confirmed the handover of the site and said his company was committed to working with Riordan Grain Services.