Bunge to build port terminal on eastern Australia coast

New terminal increases competition for GrainCorp

Bunge Australia plans to build a port terminal on Australia’s east coast, with capacity to export 45,000 tons of grain per year.

The company has applied for planning permission to build its second port terminal, which would have three storage silos, according to a Reuters reportBunge opened its first Australian port in Western Australia this year. The new bulk grain terminal is expected to open at the end of 2015.

“We decided on Geelong due to the capabilities of its port, complementary infrastructure and good transport access for grain supply,” Chris Aucote, Bunge general manager, said in a statement.

The new terminal would be built in Geelong, Victoria, and would create even more competition for GrainCorp Ltd., Australia’s largest agribusiness company. GrainCorp also operates a port in Geelong, along with Emerald Grain, which recently was acquired by Sumitomo Corp.

“This is further evidence that grain exports from eastern Australia are highly competitive and contestable,” said Angus Trigg, a GrainCorp spokesman.

“The regulation of our ports means that GrainCorp as an Australian-based company is increasingly disadvantaged against the much larger multinationals behind competing ports,” he said, referring to rules that say GrainCorp must offer rivals access to its ports.

According to Reuters, logistics firm Qube Holdings said in March that it had formed a joint venture with Noble Resources, a unit of Singapore’s Noble Group, to develop a new port terminal at Port Kembla in New South Wales, Australia.

Cargill Group and Emerald Grain have been granted the option to acquire up to a 20 percent stake each in the new venture, Quattro Grain, which is expected to be operational by early 2016.