Port Lincoln Export Terminal – Conversion of Rail Sheds

GPA has completed a range of engineering services for Viterra to support its transition to road transport for the movement of grain. The Port Lincoln export terminal site upgrade was completed in eight months and is part of Viterra’s overall focus of providing an efficient, cost-effective and sustainable supply chain to its customers.

As part of a major infrastructure upgrade project at their Port Lincoln site, Viterra engaged GPA to investigate the prospect of converting three existing rail car receiving sheds into three road truck receiving sheds. Geometry of the sheds was required to be significantly different to accommodate head clearance required for unloading tipping activities of road trucks.

Being a brownfields project, the initial site investigation involved a geotechnical analysis and detailed site survey to understand site constraints and design battery limits. GPA then undertook a preliminary design of the required structural modifications for each shed to validate the project and to enable initial tender and council approval.

The project was deemed feasible moving forward and so GPA was then engaged by Viterra to undertake detailed design of the structural, mechanical and electrical components for each shed and because the project was scheduled for completion within 6 to 8 months, contractor engagement was initiated early in the design phase with the head contract being awarded to McMahon Services. The engineering and design tasks included design of new pile foundations, structural steel, relocation and new mechanical and electrical services.

To meet project deadlines, the detailed design was issued in stages with foundation designs issued first and while foundations were being constructed GPA delivered structural steelwork design for the sheds. Shed steelwork designs were also staged to enable early pre-fabrication with Shed 3 steelwork designs issued first and closely followed by Sheds 1 and 2.

One of the primary design risks for the project was tying in the new shed structure with the existing and this was successfully managed by the use of 3D modelling software whereby the structural and mechanical components of the design were modelled and then overlayed onto a detailed 3D point cloud survey of each shed. An example of this is process presented in the screen capture below

Working closely with McMahons Services, GPA provided ongoing support during fabrication and construction activities and was able to assist the construction contractor overcome a number of hurdles in a short period of time as to not delay the project. One of these hurdles was a last minute change to shed foundation designs due to significant differences between geotechnical investigation results and what was discovered during piling activities.

The sheds were completed in November 2019, 8 months after the project commenced in April 2019 and was an overall success for all stakeholders. On the 12th of November an opening ceremony was held for the sheds to recognise the efforts made by Viterra and contractors and to promote the new improvement to site operations due to the shed modifications.

Read more about the project on the Viterra website.

GPA undertook initial site investigation and then detailed design of the structural, mechanical and electrical components for the Export Terminal.