In a ribbon-cutting ceremony 12 kilometres from Port Augusta, the first train pulled into the city’s newest intermodal terminal.
Situated metres from the Bungala solar plant, the rail line will support the delivery of solar panels and construction components for the 300MW project.
The intermodal will handle approximately 2,000 containers a year, providing much needed relief for unsealed access roads.
South Australian freight company Bowmans Rail built the terminal with Seaway Logistics to support their contract with the Bungala Project.
“When the train is full it will be equivalent to having 100 trucks off the road,” Bowmans Rail Director Malcolm May said.
“We go to Port Pirie, we have tried to put one in Roopena around Whyalla to fill container work and we go to Broken Hill with our train. So we just see this as another opportunity with how can we service Port Augusta as a town and how can we give them benefit.”
The intermodal will be used to support the development of other renewable projects in the region once Bungala is complete.
Utilising a portion of the Leigh Creek rail line, it will receive two to three trains per week from Port Adelaide and will be a cleaner transport solution than a daily convoy of trucks.
The lower freight costs of rail transport could see additional terminals installed around the region, attracting more investors to the Upper Spencer Gulf.
“We’ve got 11 renewable projects on the cards – we’ve got three on the go, four on approval and another three waiting to go through consideration,” Acting Mayor Brett Benbow said.
“And the more that happens, the more the door opens for other parties, so I think this is fantastic.”
“Build it and they will come is our philosophy,” Seaway General Manager of Sales and marketing Russell Kerley added.
“We are also looking at a few waste disposal operations up here, so we are talking to a few guys about some of the waste that this stuff generates.
“Taking that back and trying to export it to make a bit more of an industry on the waste disposal side of things.”