semf insight21 2

Construction of new developments and making changes to existing operations can be a complicated process, potentially prone to variation and delays. Graincorp Oilseeds was mindful of this when planning to invest $35 million at its existing oilseed processing facility at Numurkah, Victoria. 

SEMF was employed for its knowledge of the Numurkah and other existing Graincorp operations within Australia, and the ability of its multidisciplinary team to co-ordinate the wide range of expertise from concept through design and construction. 

The Graincorp Oilseed development represents a significant investment in the regional area of Numurkah, as it will create an additional nine roles at the site and secure the future of the operation.  The installation of the new industry best practice vegetable oil refining process will allow the plant to take the existing oil seed processing one stage further, by expanding the range of edible oils handled and refined there, with fast implementation of the project being vital to Graincorp maximising its market share. 

Graincorp sought to ensure adequate planning and implementation of the development (design, construction and commissioning) program, and minimise variation and delays, through the careful selection of the Project Management Team: 

  • A Project Manager in an overview role; 
  • SEMF for it’s multidisciplinary (Industrial, Mechanical, Electrical, and Building Engineering, Environmental, and Drafting) capabilities; and 
  • Graincorp Project Team for design, operational, financial decisions and approvals.  

This structure worked effectively through the adoption of a clearly defined communication and approval system which enabled early identification of potential issues, and challenges to be worked through to achieve an optimal outcome and solutions to be implemented in a timely manner.

An additional project benefit was that both the Project Manager and SEMF’s co-ordinator had considerable prior knowledge of the Graincorp’s existing sites, their operational and environmental management measures and issues.

SEMF’s multidisciplinary approach and wholistic knowledge of the development was beneficial for this project through the:

  • Provision of a range of skills and expertise under one SEMF project manager (a one stop shop);
  • Reduction of the need for and expense of handover;  
  • Ease of design review across skill sets and implementation of subsequent variations; 
  • Greater wholistic knowledge of a project enabling early identification of potential issues;
  • Subsequent minimisation of future unforeseen problems and costs;
  • Improved control of confidentiality for market advantage in the early planning stages; and
  • Use of an agreed system for internal and external communications.

SEMF worked closely with Graincorp and a global equipment supplier to select refining technology and associated infrastructure that would ensure optimal physical refining capabilities, as well as best practice energy, water, fugitive odour and noise management.   

  • An important aspect of this successful project was the identification of issues and areas of concern and co-ordination of preparatory and baseline investigations which:
  • Assessed potential environmental impacts and allowed for measurement of the effectiveness of proposed management measures; 
  • Allowed the engineering design to consider environmental, operational and site layout and functionality constraint issues up front, and to then feed directly into the various approval processes;
  • Were beneficial in the identification and reduction of unknowns; and
  • Minimised unforeseen future costs.  

With the findings of these baseline investigations in hand, Graincorp was able to commit to the implementation of mitigation measures prior to commencing the community consultation and approvals process (e.g. environmental, planning, building, and dangerous goods). This knowledge and foresight provided greater confidence of the project proceeding smoothly and in a timely manner.

The Graincorp development has progressed through the design and approval phase (being one of the first projects to use the Victorian Environment Protection Authority’s new Environmental Fast Track Works Approval Process) and SEMF is continuing its involvement in the construction and commissioning phase. 

Posted by SEMF on 7 January 2015


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