Free Eyre confident of Port Spencer benefits

Free Eyre has shared with its shareholders it is still confident it will get its grain-only port project at Port Spencer up and running to benefit the many grain growers on Eyre Peninsula.

The company provided an update on the project to shareholders at its annual general meeting at the Port Lincoln Hotel on Thursday afternoon.

Earlier this year Free Eyre has worked to secure land at Port Spencer from Centrex Metals who had sold off its iron ore assets in the region.

Chief executive officer Mark Rodda said a big thing that would benefit the project was the existing major project status would be transferred with the ownership of the land.

He said some of the approvals would need to be amended to accommodate a grain only port.

"It's a real confidence boost, when we settle on the land that status comes to us," he said.

Several port projects have been planned for Eyre Peninsula, including Iron Road's Cape Hardy project located nearby.

Mr Rodda said the Port Spencer project was a viable option and was not dependent on other resources moving through it.

"We don't need to wait on anyone else, we can make a grain port viable by ourselves," he said.

"All our numbers show it can bring very good returns for our shareholders and create competition in grain pricing and freight advantage for growers on half of the peninsula."

At the meeting Free Eyre presented how the project would create up to 30 ongoing jobs and would mean up to 140 kilometres less for farmers doing a round trip.

Wudinna farmer and Free Eyre shareholder Rex Foster said the logistics of the project made sense and would mean he could deliver 300 tonnes in a day.

"Access to Port Spencer is practical and achievable for my farming," he said.

"With the railway shut down and with the aging infrastructure the Eyre Peninsula needs a deep sea port."

The Port Spencer project is awaiting funding news from the State Regional Growth Fund and an application for $10 million from the $300 million Federal Regional Growth Fund.

Mr Rodda said the next steps for Free Eyre was locking down funding, finalising approvals and engineering design and community consultation.