FREE Eyre has appointed South Australian engineer Greg Walters to the role of chief executive officer of its daughter company Peninsula Ports.
The move comes after Free Eyre chief executive officer Mark Rodda departed from his role.
Peninsula Ports is behind the proposed $200 million grain-only port at Port Spencer, about 25 kilometres north of Tumby Bay.
Mr Walters will take up the role on May 18 following his 28 years of experience in business and program leadership.
He is a former principal of engineering and consultancy company Sinclair Knight Merz, was the national technical manager at engineering consultants Frazer-Nash and was a previous director on the board of the peak body for engineering, Engineers Australia.
His appointment is expected to coincide with early earthworks on the Port Spencer site by SA civil engineering and construction company Bardavcol.
The scope and design of the causeway has also begun.
Peninsula Ports chairman John Crosby said Mr Walters' expertise would be useful as the project pivoted from the planning to delivery phase.
"Mr Walters has extensive experience building client-focused businesses and leading multidisciplinary teams - skills that will prove extremely valuable to the Port Spencer project as it comes to fruition," he said.
Mr Walters said Port Spencer was an "exciting project" for the Eyre Peninsula region and for the state.
"The Port Spencer facility will also re-introduce grower ownership and control of critical grain supply infrastructure and deliver up to approximately $40 million in annual freight savings to Eyre Peninsula growers," he said.
"Port Spencer is currently the only port offering local grain growers and the community the opportunity to invest in and be part of the port."
Mr Walters said the project was "well on track" to receive grain by harvest 2021.