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Grain company Viterra has signed a multi-year, multi-million-dollar deal with Genesee and Wyoming Australia, which will see rail services secured for at least five years.
The $100 million agreement covers a five-year term for the main lines in South Australia's eastern and central regions and a three-year term for the Eyre Peninsula, with the option to extend.
The agreement is one of the largest investments in the grain industry for South Australia's rail network.
The eastern region runs south from Adelaide, through Tailem bend, out to Bordertown, and into Victoria if needed.
The central region goes up towards Port Pire, into Jamestown and the Eyre Peninsula lines run from Port Lincoln, up through to Wudinna and Kimba.
General manager of Viterra operations, Tim Krause, said it is an exciting deal.
"Rail is a critical part of the supply chain, both for our business, for growers and for marketers," he said.
"It provides capacity to get grain to the market at the right time of the year and it is also very critical for us during the harvest period where we use rail to overflow grain out of up country sites and make sure there is more space being made available for growers."
The deal comes just months after Viterra announced freight rail will no longer be available in the Mallee.
Mr Krause said growers in the Mallee can access rail fright via Tailem Bend.
"The Mallee will be serviced by road and I think what is important for Mallee growers is that the new agreement is actually supplying services to Tailem Bend," he said.
"Tailem Bend is a very important hub for moving grain out of those Mallee regions."
The new agreement will mean Viterra can offer sustainable, competitive freight rates to growers and exporters, with cost effective access to markets.
Mr Krasue said this is Viterra's main focus.
"We want to give growers long term certainty that they have got a rail logistics path for the up country movements to the port."
This article first appeared on www.abc.net.au
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