The managers of a new grains terminal at the Port of Newcastle say they expect it'll be up and running in time for this year's harvest.
The $30 million development of the Newcastle Agri Terminal is the first major grain port development in NSW in 25 years and it has the capacity to move up to 1.5 million tonnes of grain each year.
The company's spokesman, Martin MacKay says he expects to start loading ships early next year.
"We'd be able to take, theoretically, any sort of volume through this terminal," he said.
"It's about how quickly you can unload trains and how efficiently you can get in and accumulate for the ships.
"So in year one we're just looking at getting up and running and doing as many ships as we can depending on how much volume's out there."
Grains advisor, Mark Martin says drought conditions in the state's north and north-west, mean it's unlikely there'll be much movement at the new facility over the next few months.
"We fear that it will be tough for them, that their drawing area is where the drought has hit hardest and so there certainly is a decimated crop," he said.
"In addition to that, it is also the area where there's some of the strongest demand and some of the strongest usage, and most of the grain that will be harvested is likely to stay onshore and feed our animals and make our own bread."