Bulk Grain Storages

Contract Dynamics has extensive experience in the design, construction and operations of bulk grain storages in Australia and internationally, through its director Charles O’Neil. As an independent project director and contractor on behalf of several clients, Charles pioneered the design and construction of large steel framed, low cost horizontal and vertical storages in Australia in the 1980’s and these design principles are widely used today because of their cost effectiveness and efficiency.

The background to this development was the rapidly expanding Australian grain production at that time, combined with a strong resistance by farmers to funding vertical concrete silos that were extremely expensive on a cost-per-tonne basis. There was a clear need to develop storage systems that would enable rapid construction at a much lower cost than traditional concrete silos.

Charles O’Neil’s experience includes the following:


Project director for the design and construction of the following storages:

  • Trangie, NSW – 60,000 tonnes with 300 tonnes per hour (TPH) in-loading capability from trucks. This is the storage shown on the Home Page of this website – the white colour is a flexible elastomeric sprayed-on skin that is an integral part of the gas sealing technology of the storage, enabling fumigation with inert gas. Large structural steel A-frame storages undergo considerable expansion and contraction with the day-night and seasonal temperature changes and the elastomeric skin technique and other technologies were developed to cater for these temperature changes;
  • Moree, NSW – 125,000 tonnes with 400 TPH in-loading from rail or road and high capacity rail out-loading that fills a 2,000 tonne moving train in 34 minutes with very little spillage, which is automatically recovered; this storage is also gas sealed for fumigation with inert gas. Charles was a director of the company owning this storage for 8 years, with responsibility for over-viewing operations;
  • Moura, Queensland – 65,000 tonnes with 400 TPH fully automated in-loading and out-loading operated from a remote control room; with out-loading onto to both road and rail; and with the storage being gas sealed for fumigation as above;
  • Warren, NSW – 50,000 tonnes, with 400 TPH in-loading and out-loading;
  • St Mary’s, NSW – 20,000 tonnes vertical steel silos; 4 silos around a central elevator with 300 TPH handling systems;
  • Several vertical storages ranging up to 10,000 tonnes capacity, with basic handling systems;
  • Port of Brisbane grain shipping terminal – Charles participated as a specialist D & C advisor to one of the two shortlisted final bid consortiums (out of 16 initial contenders at EOI stage). Although unsuccessful, this was an extremely worthwhile participation as Charles made a world-wide tour surveying grain ports on behalf of the consortium, inspecting port facilities in Singapore, Vancouver, Galveston, New Orleans, Lisbon, Rouen, Rotterdam and Hamburg;
  • Project director for the construction of large starch factory in Tamworth, NSW; a flour mill in Gunnedah, NSW; and a cotton gin north of Moree, NSW;


  • Specialist consultant on the design and construction of 16 distribution wheat storages in Egypt; engaged by the Australian Wheat Board and Dept. of Trade;
  • Guest lecturer on storage design and construction techniques in Beijing (twice).