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Sealed storage program wraps up for 2023


It’s been another huge year for the Sealed Storage team, with 400,000 tonnes of fumigatable storage refurbished, maintained and returned to the network.

The Sealed Storage team is focussed on remediating and maintaining fixed storages across the network, enabling the Grain Protection team to fumigate the storages safely and effectively throughout the year. 

Headed by Manager Project Delivery Glenn Feineler, the Sealed Storage team consists of Project Leads Nigel Hill and Steve Tilbee, and a selection of construction specialists. 

“We pride ourselves on delivering a high quality of works which meet the needs of the end users,” Glenn said.  

“The goal for each of these projects is to enable safe and effective Controlled Atmosphere Fumigation and allow grain caretaking treatments. 

“To achieve this, stakeholder involvement and relationships are critical. The Network Planning team play a key role in our success. They work with the zones to identify storages which need refurbishment or maintenance, and provide us with our programme of work.  

“We also leverage support from other teams such as Operation Administration, Procurement, Finance, Zone and Area Management.  

“At a site level we always have great support from the local maintenance teams and the operators themselves; after all, there is no knowledge like local knowledge.” 

There are three different scope options for sealed storage work: minor maintenance, extension of life maintenance, and refurbishment. 

Refurbishment is the most comprehensive and can involve anything from full roof cladding replacement, lighting upgrades and electrical interlocking, to structural surveys, bolt tensioning and resealing. The anticipated life cycle of a storage post refurbishment is a whopping 25 to 30 years. 

Extension of life maintenance involves a series of storage integrity tests which helps the team identify what repairs are necessary, with the aim of the scope to extend the fumigatable life of the storage by five to 10 years.  

As the name suggests, minor maintenance is for general maintenance activities on the storage from use during harvest or outloading programs.  


This year’s program  

This year the Sealed Storage team have refurbished and maintained 18 storages across ten sites, returning approximately 400,000 tonnes of fumigatable fixed storage to the network. 

While not great for growers, this year’s dryer seasonal conditions reduced the challenges the Sealed Storage team normally face with resealing in wet weather. 

“Esperance weather, for example, can be quite challenging with windy wet weather,” Glenn said. 

“Fortunately, when we were at Grass Patch and Cascades this year, the weather conditions were perfect and not as windy as it can be, allowing us to carry out these critical tasks, enabling work to be carried out efficiently.” 

“Compared to last year when we were refurbishing at Munglinup, it rained nearly every day when we were on site.” 

Pressure testing across all sites were highly successful on all projects in the program of works this year, with all crews demobilised end of October. 

Below is an overview of the main refurbishment projects the Sealed Storage team carried out this year. 


Kwinana Grain Terminal Cell Refurbishment - Stage 3  

The FY23 cell refurbishment work at the Kwinana Grain Terminal (KGT) was the third stage of a critical sealing program at the site. Eighteen cells in total at the Northern Cell Block were completely resealed, with six carried out this year. 

The sealing work enables safe and effective Controlled Atmosphere Fumigation and allows grain caretaking treatments such as nitrogen. 

This year the work kicked off in mid-October 2022 and was completed by Christmas 2022. Pressure testing on all six refurbished cells was extremely successful which is now translating into great fumigation results in 2023. 

Grass Patch CS2000 Refurbishment - Stage 2 

Stage 2 of works at Grass Patch involved roof cladding replacement and internal sealing of the four cells.  

The project progressed well and was pressure tested in August, with the project wrapped up later in the month. 

These refurbishment works returns 68,000 tonnes of fumigatable storage to the network. 

Cascade Q-Type Refurbishment 

The Q-Type Refurbishment at Cascades also progressed well, with the project complete in September, returning 60,000 tonnes of storage to the network. 

The methodology being used at Cascade is “Sealed in Construction Roof Cladding” with Polyurethane tie-in.  

This is the same methodology used at Geraldton’s West End a few years ago, and the advantage of this approach is that it requires less sealing effort post cladding installation. 

Mukinbudin A-Type Refurbishment

Built in 1963, the Mukinbudin A-Type is the oldest storage being refurbished in the FY23 portfolio and returns 21,800 tonnes to the network. 

The new cladding installation, external top coating and newly refurbished doors have the storage looking brand new.  

Extremely cold weather conditions in June and July provided a challenge by reducing tool time and production. However, this was expected and did not affect the project schedule. 

The Sealed Storage team completed sealing in September, with lighting finished in October. 

Yuna Q-Type Refurbishment  

Dry, warm weather in the North helped with the refurbishment of Yuna this year. 

The scope of works included total encasement with traditional cladding and returns 60,000 tonnes to the network. 

Recladding was wrapped up in September, with pressure testing finished in October. 

Wagin CS2000 (4) Refurbishment 

The scope at Wagin is the same as Grass Patch but stage 1 and 2 was completed in one calendar year. The scope included internal and external wall sealing and all four cells had to be re-cladded.  

To assist Operations, Glenn’s team handed back two fully refurbished cells early to allow for early receivals and site flexibility, with the remaining two delivered back in late October – one week ahead of schedule. The Sealed Storage Team worked with zone and area managers to hand this back early to assist with outloading programs. 

The Wagin refurbishment program returned 80,000 tonnes in total to the network. 

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