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Investment in CBH Esperance Terminal delivers wins for productivity and safety


CBH continues to invest significantly to improve and develop the network, focusing capital investment and maintenance on key sites that will allow us to deliver more tonnes to our customers and provide growers with faster receivals and competitive fees.

A project to sustain existing infrastructure was recently successfully completed at the Esperance Terminal, with investment to upgrade one of the pre-cleaners, a key component in the ship loading process, resulting in throughput increases averaging approximately 10 per cent.  

Delivered on-time and on-budget, this investment in the Esperance Terminal has also improved reliability and decreased maintenance requirements and plant downtime

Jim Rowan, Maintenance Superintendent for the Esperance zone, explains.

Before grain is loaded onto a ship, it is passed through large screens, known as pre-cleaners, to remove excess non-grain material,” Jim said.

Over time, these pre-cleaners become less efficient, meaning they need to be regularly cleaned to remove build up.

If this is not done, the plant may experience downtime from inconsistent grain flow. This had started to happen at the Esperance Terminal.”

To rectify this, the CBH Engineering team was engaged to design a new pre-cleaner arrangement, then oversee the manufacture, installation, and commissioning process. The project involved months of planning with the Esperance team and other stakeholders before the installation took place over two weeks in March. 

Using the design provided by CBH, the pre-cleaner arrangement was manufactured by Schenk Process in Perth and transported by road to the terminal. 

Local tradespeople from Esperance and Albany were contracted to install the equipment, supported by the CBH Maintenance and Engineering teams - no mean feat, with the work happening six storeys above the ground! 

The old equipment was carefully transported from its original position then removed through a wall, with a crane used to lower it to ground level.

The supporting framework for the pre-cleaner arrangement was replaced before the new pre-cleaner was lifted to height, positioned and connected to the plant.

Maintenance platforms and guarding were also installed to ensure a continued safe working environment for the Esperance Terminal team.

Ship loading continued throughout the project, minimising the impact to our customers, and ensuring country sites could continue to move grain to port. This achievement was made by possible by the project team working 24 hours a day in shifts

After commissioning, the team was pleased that as well as downtime issues being rectified and safety improved for the Esperance Terminal team, a 10 per cent throughout increase had occurred. This means that ships can be loaded faster through the new pre-cleaner arrangement.

This unplanned benefit is the icing on the cake for this collaborative project, which is a showcase of the innovative approach taken by the CBH Operations and Project Delivery Group teams when delivering our network investment program.

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