German-made flour mills in Syria an 'achievement of coordination and organization'

by Teresa Acklin
Share This:

   NASRIYE, SYRIA — Flour mills made in Germany are producing flour in Syria.

   Construction on the first of five new 500-tonne flour mills for the Syrian government began in Nasriye, near Damas-cus, in May 1996. Two years, eight cargo ships and 65 experts later, all five flour mills are now in operation in Syria.

   The turnkey projects, also located in the cities of Khan Tuman, Mimbej, Ghuzlaniye and Salamiye, were designed, built and supplied by Maschinen-und Muhlenbau Wittenberg GmbH (MMW), Wittenberg, Germany. Frank Spalek, MMW's sales manager for the Middle East, called the project a “brilliant achievement of coordination and organization.”

   At peak times, up to 65 experts from Germany, the United Kingdom, The Netherlands and Syria worked on the project, Mr. Spalek said, from the construction engineer to assembly and start-up personnel to millers and laboratory technicians. Just providing transportation and food was often a challenge, he said, “especially because the experts' habits and requirements often differed widely from one another.”

   The milling equipment was manufactured in MMW's factory in Wittenberg and shipped in crates and containers to Syria, first by rail to Hamburg, Germany; then by boat to Lattakia, Syria; then by truck to each site.

   At the center of each milling complex is the main production building, which houses the cleaning, milling, mixing and warehouse sections. Each complex has 50,000 tonnes of grain storage in 66 reinforced concrete silo bins, “a symbol of technical progress in the region,” Mr. Spalek said.

   Grain is received through an electronic weigh scale, hydraulic lorry tilting platform and vehicle and railway receiving channel. The wheat is prepared for milling on two cleaning lines that each process 250 tonnes per day. Flour is produced on modern GM 421/2 roller mills from MMW and efficient PLS plansifters, Mr. Spalek said.

   “To ensure trouble-free plant operation, the laboratory, water treatment plant and water reservoir, transformer and diesel generator station are as much a part of the mill complex as the storage tank, workshops and the administration and social building,” he said. Even residential buildings were erected for the workers, he added.

   The final mill was completed in June 1998 and began operations after passing a 10-day performance test. “It was a hard, but successful, bit of work,” Mr. Spalek said.