A new bulk goods conveyor is now active at the Port of Bundaberg, expanding export opportunities for the Wide Bay-Burnett region of Queensland. 

The $21.9 million conveyor was made possible with $17.7 million from the Federal Government, $3.2 million from Sugar Terminals, and additional funding from Gladstone Ports Corporation on behalf of the Queensland Government. 

An important project of the Hinkler Regional Deal, the conveyor will provide competitive and efficient loading facilities for a wide range of bulk minerals and agricultural products – from sands and sugar, to light grain and wood pellets. 

Following rigorous testing over recent months, the new facilities – including the state-of-the-art 250m conveyer, two transfer towers and modifications to existing ship loading equipment – have already been put to use with the first shipment of product in mid-May.

The 22,000t shipment of silica sand – produced by local Bundaberg business, Sunstate Sands – is bound for South Korea, where it will be used in the manufacture of glass.

Delivered by Sugar Terminals and e2o, construction supported 335 jobs and stimulated the Bundaberg economy, with local procurement including structural fabrication, painting and fencing, and all trade labour.

Federal Minister for Regional Development, Kristy McBain, said that it’s fantastic to see this modern and fit-for-purpose conveyor in action, helping to increase exports of bulk commodities from the Port of Bundaberg – as part of the government’s commitment to supporting a future made in Australia.

“For every business, time is money – which is why we invested over $17 million towards more efficient and multi-purpose loading facilities, which will mean a faster exit from the Port – which we know is under more demand than ever,” Ms McBain said. 

“This will support businesses in the Wide Bay-Burnett region to expand their capabilities and services, driving economic growth and the creation of local employment opportunities – building on the 335 jobs supported during construction.”

Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Bart Mellish, said that this is a significant milestone for a fantastic project for Bundaberg.

“It’s great to see local businesses and workers have played a big role in the project too,” Mr Mellish said. 

“The Queensland Government has looked forward to the official opening of the conveyor, which will play a key role in the economic future of the Wide-Bay Burnett region.”

State Member for Bundaberg, Tom Smith, said that the Port of Bundaberg provides exciting opportunities for industry and jobs growth across the region and that this project is an example of just that.

“The completion of this conveyor saw some 109 jobs for Bundy locals during the construction phase and will continue to ensure long-term employment for many years to come,” Mr Smith said. 

“With a number of other infrastructure projects underway currently at the Port of Bundaberg, I know that our region’s economy is set to grow stronger and stronger as we work as a government with our trading partners to establish further investment opportunities.”

Gladstone Ports Corporation CEO, Craig Haymes, said that this project is of strategic importance to the region and the Port of Bundaberg.

“This project is about expanding the export capabilities of the port and unlocking opportunities for regional producers to compete on a global scale,” Mr Haymes said. 

“The new facilities have the potential to increase our existing throughput in the Port of Bundaberg by more than five times and accommodate new products.

“At GPC, we are dedicated to developing the port to operate at its full potential in a measured and sustainable manner to bring further growth and prosperity to the Wide Bay Burnett region.

“We are proud to be working closely with STL and e2o and we are excited to celebrate this milestone.”

Sugar Terminals Limited (STL) CEO, David Quinn, said that the company is proud to have led the construction and delivery of this new Multi User Conveyor Project adjacent to its Bundaberg Bulk Sugar Terminal. 

“STL’s project team, which included Linear Engineering, Loftus Contracting, and e2o (a subsidiary of Clough) have collectively delivered a world-class facility that will enable a range of bulk commodities to be handled safely and efficiently,” Mr Quinn said. 

“This project not only provided local jobs during construction but will also facilitate new opportunities in the broader Region as users take advantage of this Facility.

“Importantly, STL has now had the opportunity to fully commission this infrastructure following the successful loading of a 22,000t shipment of silica sand for our customer Sunstate Sands, which we safely and successfully completed recently. We now look forward to future shipments from both existing and new customers.”

Image: sunnypicsoz-Geoff Childs/shutterstock.com

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