LG Mouchel & Partners named chief adviser for China grain infrastructure project

by Teresa Acklin
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   LG Mouchel & Partners Ltd., a consulting engineering firm, has been selected by the Chinese Ministry of Domestic Trade and the World Bank as principal adviser for the initial phase of a program to improve China's domestic and international grain infrastructure. The total project is expected to extend into 1999.

   Mouchel, named for its founder, the late Louis Gustave Mouchel, designed Britain's first reinforced concrete grain silo in 1899. Mr. Mouchel set up the business while he was the French vice-consul in Britain.

   While grain-related projects have always been important to the partnership, which is now owned 100% by the staff, it is in the past 25 years that the Grain Handling Division has been a major part of the company's business. Headed by Peter Revill, the division not only has been involved in projects involving bulk grain, but also has participated in the design and construction of new flour mills and feed manufacturing plants in different countries.

   Mouchel's experience with modernization of a developing country's grain infrastructure has been enhanced by a project in Turkey that, like the new China endeavor, has been financed by the World Bank. Mr. Revill said the company's experience in planning and designing the Turkish facilities and training the operatives “should prove invaluable in the vast program of changes planned for China.”

   In the Turkey project, Mouchel has been responsible for project management and associated activities for mechanical handling of grain at 52 inland sites in Turkey, with storage capacity for some 625,000 tonnes of maize, wheat, barley, rye and oats. Seventeen of the sites comprise steel silos in units of 10,000 and 20,000 tonnes with intake and loading out facilities for both road and rail traffic.

   The other sites offer simple flat-type storage, with emptying by means of portable equipment. Long-term grain storage has been facilitated by inclusion of aeration equipment to condition grain, along with temperature control systems.

   Several port facilities have been built and modernized for the Turkish Grain Board. One at Derince on the Sea of Marmara has an annual throughput capacity of 3.6 million tonnes.