Saleyard demands quality steel

Saleyard demands quality steel
Saleyard demands quality steel

Key Information

  • The CVLX livestock saleyard will be the largest of its kind in Victoria
  • Hot-dipped galvanized structural steel and DuraGalPlus® will help the saleyard withstand the rigours of moving and holding livestock
  • Two InfraBuild Steel Centre branches worked closely with local steel fabricators to meet CVLX’s requirements

Ballarat’s soon-to-be-closed livestock saleyard has operated for more than 150 years. Project owners for the new saleyard are relying on DuraGalPlus® steel products to provide the new facility with the same longevity.

The Central Victoria Livestock Exchange (CVLX) project, situated on a greenfield site 12.5km outside of Ballarat, will become the hub for cattle and sheep sales in Central Victoria and ensure Ballarat continues its major role as a regional centre for livestock sales.

The $24 million site just outside Miners Rest will take the place of the existing saleyard at Delacombe, which is showing its age after more than 150 years of operation. More than 30,000sqm of selling pens will be undercover, a substantial improvement on the Delacombe saleyards.

Comprising a single-storey stepped-roofed saleyard and open-air holding pens, the new facility has been designed to meet industry-wide animal welfare and environmental standards and will accommodate annual throughput of 70,000 cattle and 1.6 million sheep.

The new site will also prioritise greater levels of efficiency, with CVLX Regional Manager James Thompson telling Ballarat-based The Courier newspaper it will substantially improve the process of livestock penning and classification.

“The layout and the flow of it is a big advantage for efficiencies,” James said. “You’ve got pens that can be opened up and different-sized pens that are easily configurable. That’s a major advantage – you’ve got a lot more flexibility and better utilisation of space.”

DuraGalPlus® the solution

Underpinning the CVLX project’s modern and adaptable infrastructure is DuraGalPlus®, high-strength structural steel hollow sections from Austube Mills. DuraGalPlus® is manufactured by the ERW process from continuous hot-dip galvanized steel strip and has a smooth internal and external zinc coating with a minimum of 100 g/m2 each side that meets the requirements of AS/NZS 4792 Class ZB100/100.

With Walz Group as the principal engineering, procurement and construction contractor, InfraBuild Steel Centre's (formerly LIBERTY OneSteel Metalcentre) Bendigo and Scoresby branches supplied project fabricators Central Steel Build and Plinius Engineering and Fabrication with quality steel product capable of withstanding the rigours of the saleyard. These rigours include not just the effect of extreme weather on the external surfaces of the structure, but the physical forces on holding gates and fences associated with moving livestock, not to mention the corrosive effects of animal waste on that infrastructure. 

InfraBuild Steel Centre helped supply the project in two stages, with the first comprising the shed construction and the second comprising the building of cattle and sheep pens.

Stage 1: The shed

MKM Constructions was awarded the contract to build the shed structure, constituting supply and installation of the structural steelwork, the footings, the roofing and the stormwater elements. Central Steel Build was subcontracted by MKM Constructions to undertake the design work, structural drawings and supply of the fabricated steel and roofing components.

InfraBuild Steel Centre in Bendigo was able to leverage its existing relationship with customer Central Steel Build to win a major share of the steel supply for Stage 1.

Rob Oman, InfraBuild Steel Centre Business Development Manager VIC/TAS, said approximately 68 tonnes of hot rolled structural (HRS), 18 tonnes of rectangular hollow sections (RHS) and four tonnes of Merchant Bar were supplied through the firm’s Bendigo branch.

Gerald Edmonds, Sales Manager at Central Steel Build, said the InfraBuild Steel Centre team did a fantastic job of processing the raw cut lengths and delivering materials to schedule across three delivery lots.

“I’m amazed at how well the project went,” Gerald said. “It went like clockwork considering we’re talking about a fair tonnage of steel going into a 30,000sqm roof.”

Stage 2: The holding pens

The saleyard structure itself is impressively large (as can be seen in in the drone footage below), but it’s the hard numbers associated with the holding pens and associated undercover infrastructure that dramatically illustrate the scale of the new facility.

Altogether, some 6000 gates (five-rail with a vertical brace) are in the process of being fitted at the site, together with approximately 3500 fence panels. Roughly a kilometre of overhead walkways will allow for easy movement from one part of the facility to another, plus provide easy viewing of the holding pens. 

InfraBuild Steel Centre Scoresby captured a share of the Stage 2 steel supply to Ballarat-based customer Plinius Engineering and Fabrication, which used high-strength DuraGalPlus® product to construct the cattle yard fencing gates and ramps, as well the walkway systems and posts throughout (the posts alone numbered approximately 7500).

Plinius Director Wayne Squire said he’s in little doubt about the suitability of DuraGalPlus® for the new facility.

“The specification was for DuraGalPlus® so we were happy to stay true to that in order to maintain a high standard and offer a good-quality product,” Wayne explained. “There has been a lot of satisfaction from everyone onsite who could see the quality of the welding and quality of the material.

Wayne added that InfraBuild Steel Centre made Plinius’ job easier not just by meeting the tonnage requirements of the job, but by the coordination of staged deliveries to the Plinius warehouse.

“We had to order the steel all at once, but we obviously couldn’t use it all at once, so they’ve been cooperative and helped us out with that,” he said.

Built to last

The test of the CVLX saleyard’s efficiency will be in its ability to handle the tens of thousands of livestock head that arrive on site every week. But the test of the saleyard’s durability will be in the infrastructure’s ability to withstand years of hard use.  

“DuraGalPlus® is high-strength, which is one of its main advantages,” Wayne said.

“It also offers long-term durability against corrosion – you can see and touch the difference in quality compared to inferior product.”

The new saleyard is due to open late in 2018.

Article published on Monday, 09 April 2018

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