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Grain Container Packing Facility
A joint venture between Maritime Container Services (MCS) and GrainCorp will see a new $14 million grain container packing facility being built at Sydney's Cooks River Intermodal Terminal. The new facility will take grain offloaded from bulk trains and pack it into 20-foot containers ready to be moved the roughly 8km to Port Botany for export. The new facility is being built by Australian Grain Handlers and would benefit the rail mode share going in and out of Port Botany.

MCS director of commercial development James Wright said that "at a minimum, the new grain facility will deliver an extra 10,000 TEU on rail – that’s roughly 250,000 tonnes. We’re expecting to receive about five bulk trains of grain per fortnight.”

The development is currently under construction and the grain packing facility is expected to come online by the end of the second quarter of next year. The facility will have a throughput storage capacity of 5600 tonnes of grain, and will be based around seven main receival and blending silos, along with three auxiliary silos.

Obviously, the new packing facility will encroach on some of the existing rail capacity at the terminal, so a proposal of a new 600m rail line will improve utilisation of the site. The facility already has eight rail sidings and has the capacity to handle trains up to 1200m in length. When the grain packing facility comes online, the need for foodgrade containers is expected to skyrocket, so MCS plans to add an additional wash-bay facility.

“The approximate capacity of the proposed, double-stacked wash-bay facility will be about 64 TEU and it will certainly increase our ability to turn out food-quality units,” Mr Wright said.

The aim is for the wash-bay to come online by the end of next year.

While the grain packing facility is already under construction, the upgraded wash bay facilities and the new rail line are still subject to the necessary approvals.