(Corrects size of new port to show capacity is 450,000 tonnes a
year, not 45,000, in paragraph 2)
By Colin Packham
SYDNEY Aug 20 Agricultural trading house Bunge
Ltd plans to build a port terminal on Australia's east
coast, boosting competition for the country's largest
agribusiness, GrainCorp Ltd.
Bunge Australia said on Wednesday the terminal would be
built in Geelong, Victoria, with capacity to export 450,000
tonnes of grain a year.
The proposed new port is likely to fuel ongoing speculation
of a renewed offer for Graincorp by Archer Daniels Midland Co
, whose A$2.8 billion ($2.6 billion) bid last year was
rejected by the Australian government due to a lack of
The Bunge terminal will be the third to start operations or
be announced for the Australian east coast, a stronghold for
GrainCorp, since the bid was rejected last November.
Bunge has applied for planning permission to build its
second port terminal, which would have three storage silos.
Bunge opened its first Australian port in Western Australia
earlier this year.
"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
The bulk grain terminal is expected to open at the end of
2015, a spokesman for the company said.
The development marks yet more competition for GrainCorp,
which also operates a port in Geelong, and Emerald Grain,
recently wholly acquired by Japan's Sumitomo Corp.
GrainCorp's Geelong terminal has a capacity of just over 1
million tonnes, documents on the company's website shows.
"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.
Logistics business 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 Australia's New South Wales.
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
GrainCorp chairman Don Taylor said earlier this month he did
not expect ADM to launch a fresh bid in the immediate future.
(1 US dollar = 1.0761 Australian dollar)
(Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Joseph Radford and