Grain storage and handling projects

by Arvin Donley
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At the Grain Elevator and Processing Society (GEAPS) Exchange in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S. in March, one grain industry expert forecast a scenario that was music to the ears of manufacturers of grain storage and handling equipment. He said that by 2035 in the United States alone, 14,000 105-foot diameter bins for grain storage would need to be erected to keep pace with projected production increases.

The present also looks promising, according to a recent World Grain survey of suppliers in which respondents said sales of silos, conveyors and other types of grain handling equipment were brisk with products being shipped to all parts of the world. The Black Sea region, Asia, the Middle East, the United States, Europe and South America were all mentioned as regions that were very active with grain storage projects, with silos being installed at inland grain terminals, port terminals, flour mills, feed mills and biofuels plants.

Some of the drivers for new grain facility construction, according to the equipment suppliers surveyed, include the growing global population and increasing industrialization in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

“We have noticed an increase in demand from developing countries,” one silo manufacturer said.

A grain handling equipment manufacturer said it was seeing great demand for new construction of collection points close to the harvest areas, especially in regions where the industrialization is not completed yet.

“Furthermore, we see demand in large-size trading terminals to transport the products from countries/regions of cultivation to the people demanding food.”

Those surveyed said grain facilities were requesting silos built for seismic, wind and snow loads, silos with a high grade of galvanization and strength of the material, and silos and handling equipment with greater storage and handling capacities.

“We are seeing a growing awareness of energy efficiency and, to avoid losses, as gentle as possible treatment of the grain,” one company said.

Another company noted that customers are demanding more automation in controls and sensing devices.

The following is a sample of projects completed in recent months involving some of the world’s biggest manufacturers of grain storage and handling equipment.


In May 2011, MYRIN SA saw the completion of an expansion project of its grain facility in Paysandu, Uruguay with a combined storage capacity of 52,000 tonnes. The new storage plant is a completely separate unit with its own dump pit hopper to unload trucks and a load-out hopper silo. In order to help load more trucks simultaneously, the main silos include side draw discharges.

The products received in the dump pit hopper of the new storage plant can be conveyed to a grain cleaner, to any of the two independent lines of wet holding silos, to any of the two lines of main storage silos or just straight to load trucks. A grain dryer is also part of the conditioning area and can be loaded from the cleaner or from any of the lines of wet holding silos.

All the equipment, including the grain cleaner, the grain dryer, the two lines of wet holding silos and the two lines of main storage silos, are able to convey the products directly to the load-out hopper silo. The high flexibility of this storage plant allows the personnel to perform several operations at the same time and with different kinds of grains. The facility stores corn, wheat, barley, sorghum and soybeans.

The equipment, supplied by Global Industries, Inc., Grand Island, Nebraska, U.S., includes eight MFS main storage silos Model S72-24 with side draws, four MFS wet holding silos Model HTT24-14-45 and one MFS load-out hopper silo Model 15HT-7-45. Each main storage silo has 6,388 tonnes capacity and is 21.92 meters in diameter, 19.51 meters tall at the eave and nearly 25.58 meters tall at the peak. Each wet holding silo has a 438-tonne capacity and is 7.31 meters in diameter, 15.77 meters tall at the eave and nearly 17.91 meters tall at the peak.

The handling equipment includes six YORK bucket elevators and 28 YORK drag conveyors with a capacity of 300 tph. The BROWNIE metallic structures include a 4.88 meter x 4.88 meter x 36.58-meter main bucket elevator tower, five catwalks assemblies with their sidewall brackets, spiral stairs and the substructure for the load-out hopper silo. The storage plant also includes two grain cleaners and one grain dryer.


Ghazi Qadoumi Trading (GQT) recently contracted Chore-Time Brock International to supply grain storage and handling equipment at GQT’s distribution center for imported grain in Jaber, Jordan.

Four Brock steel silos, each measuring 27.4 meters in diameter, 18.75 meters at the eave and 25.91 meters at the peak, were installed. The capacity of each silo was 9,400 tonnes, giving the facility 35,000 tonnes of overall storage capacity.

Handling equipment supplied by Brock includes:
•a 300-tph truck receiving and silo fill system
•406 x 508 millimeter chain conveyors
•45.7-meter discharge height bucket elevator with 1,067-millimeter head pulley
•150-tph silo reclaim system with 229 x 432 millimeter conveyors
•Soymeal fill system with 508 x 508 millimeter conveyors at 240 tph.

Special features in the facility include a complete aeration system using Brock’s GUARDIAN Series 20-horsepower fans; a SWEEP-MASTER Silo Sweep with sweep auger diameter of 305 millimeters; and Brock’s HERCULES grain storage bin support structure for catwalks and elevator towers.


Jordan Silos and Supply General Company completed a $24 million expansion project in October 2011 at its grain facility near Amman, Jordan.

The government-owned company hired T.AM.E., along with Behlen Manufacturing Co., Columbus, Nebraska, U.S., to install 10 corrugated steel silos with a total storage capacity of 100,000 tonnes for storage of wheat and barley.

The new storage units were installed adjacent to existing concrete silos. Each silo has a storage capacity of 10,000 tonnes with a 28-degree fill angle and measures 28 meters in diameter, 20 meters to the eave and has a peak height of 28 meters.

Two grain receiving lines, each with a receiving capacity of 240 tph, were installed consisting of two tipping bridges.

In addition to a special level of galvanization of the silos and special design to withstand earthquakes, Jordan Silos and Supply required one of the silos to incorporate special sheeting for additional insulation value.


SCAFCO, Spokane, Washington, U.S., recently supplied 20 corrugated steel silos for the National Food Reserve Agency’s Strategic Grain Reserve Project in Abuja, Nigeria.

SCAFCO supplied externally stiffened silos measuring 21.95 meters in diameter, 14.66 meters at the eave, and 20.92 meters at the peak, complete with a heavy-duty roof cap, rafter-supported roof and a 597 millimeter x 660 millimeter access door in the second ring.

The silos were designed to U.S. standards for 122 kilograms per square meter roof live (snow) load, 144-kilometer-per-hour wind speed and Seismic Zone 1.

Each silo has a storage capacity of 5,127 tonnes for wheat and features galvanized coating.

Handling equipment supplied by SCAFCO includes:
•Truck receiving pits and chain conveyors (150 tph)
•Bucket elevators (150 tph and 50 tph)
•Wet holding silos and accessories (50 tph)
•Tempering silos and accessories (50 tph)
•Continuous flow grain dryers (50 tph)
•Bulk weigher (150 tph)
•Silo loading conveyors with catwalks (150 tph)
•Chain conveyors (150 tph)
•Elevator support towers
•Dust collection silos
•Pulse Jet dust filter.


ZAO Belstar-Agro, a Russian company that specializes in flour and feed milling, recently sought to significantly improve the overall capacity of its production facilities by constructing a modern feed mill.

The plant, built by Bühler Grain Logistics, Beilngries, Germany, includes 16 storage silos capable of storing up to 100,000 tonnes. Located in Tokarevka, Russia, the new plant also includes receiving and loading stations for truck and rail.

Bühler Grain Logistics installed two lines for receiving, cleaning and storage as well as two MSDT 850 scales with a capacity of 200 tph. Total cleaning capacity is 400 tph and total drying capacity is 108 tph.

The 16 steel silos were installed by Symaga. Each is 22.15 meters in diameter and 24.7 meters tall with a capacity of 7,744 cubic meters.

Wheat and maize are processed at the feed mill.


Konya Seker Sanayi recently opened a new feed mill in Cumra-Konya, Turkey that includes the installation of 42,000 tonnes of storage capacity for corn and sugar beet pulp.

MYSILO, Aksaray, Turkey, installed eight steel bins, each 20.16 meters in diameter, 14.37 meters tall at the eave and 19.95 meters at the peak. Each bin features a storage capacity of 5,200 tonnes. Handling capacity for elevator and chain conveyors is 150 tph.

The turnkey project also includes a receiving hopper dust explosion system, a PLC Scada System, a truck lift, and a 6-meter x 6-meter receiving hopper.


Ard Sefid Azna has added a new grain storage facility in the Loristan Province of Iran that handles both wheat and barley.

Obial, Aksaray, Turkey, installed the grain silos and handling equipment for the project. Eight steel silos, each with a capacity of 7,676 cubic meters, were installed. The silos are 23.47 meters in diameter, 15.49 meters at the eave, and 22.12 meters in total height.

It took about three months to finish the project, which also included the installation of Obial bucket elevators and chain conveyors, each with a handling capacity of 150 tph.


FRAME, Bologna, Italy, saw a significant increase in the number of projects delivered in 2011.

Silos of up to 32 meters in diameter have been supplied in a number of countries including, Bulgaria, Egypt, Finland, Germany, Kazakhstan, Iran, Nigeria, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tanzania, Uganda and Ukraine.

One of the projects was supplied to the FRAME agent in Northern Italy — Technograin Di Carlini S.A.S. San Silvestoro (MN) Italy — and included FP 18-23 silos with a capacity of 3,500 tonnes each and an FC 09-20 hopper-bottom silo, with a capacity of 800 tonnes.

The FRAME range of FC hopper silos has now been increased to the FC 16, with a diameter of 14.55 meters.


PTM Technology, Este, Italy, recently supplied grain handling equipment at a new storage facility for wheat in Jordan.

In this turn-key project, which was handled by a local engineering company and completed in October 2011, PTM Technology supplied two ETM 630/330 bucket elevators with a grain handling capacity of 240 tph as well as 17 TCM 440/400 chain conveyors with a 240-tph handling capacity.

At the facility, the main contractor installed 10 corrugated steel silos. The silos were 28 meters in diameter, 20 meters at the eave, and 27.10 meters at the peak.

Each had a storage capacity of 10,000 tonnes. One of the silos was equipped with a special thermal layer and used for fumigation of the wheat. All equipment is CE-ATEX certified.


Sakxim recently opened a new grain storage and handling facility in Bajio, Mexico that features equipment from Lambton Conveyor Limited, Florence, Ontario, Canada.

The facility has 15,000 tonnes of storage capacity (three silos with a capacity of 5,000 tonnes each), with two Lambton hopper tanks, each with a storage capacity of 200 tonnes. The main storage silos measure 22 meters in diameter, 15 meters at the eave and 21 meters at the peak.

Lambton conveying equipment rated at 200 tph for corn was also installed.

Cost of the project was $2 million.


Enviral A.S., one of the largest manufacturers of ethanol in the European Union, recently expanded its corn storage capacity at its plant in Slovakia.

The €1.3 million project took nine months to complete. Two silos manufactured by Cordoba, Spain-based Silos Cordoba were installed that increased the storage capacity at the facility by 71,548 cubic meters. Prior to the expansion, the facility consisted of six silos with an overall storage capacity of 100,000 tonnes.

The silos are Silos Cordoba’s newest model, which is 41.25 meters in diameter with 35,774 cubic meters of storage capacity. These are the biggest silos that have ever been assembled by Silos Cordoba, and measure 22.88 meters at the eave with an overall height of 34.7 meters.

Handling equipment installed at the facility was rated at 200 tph and included bucket elevators and chain conveyors.


Agricor, a commercial grain facility located in Pryluky, Ukraine, recently installed equipment manufactured by Sweet Manufacturing Co., Springfield, Ohio, U.S., that conveys grain at up to 250 tph.

Sweet partnered with Demetra, the Sweet authorized representative in Ukraine, which sold this project and installed the grain handling equipment.

The project included 10 Silver-Sweet bucket elevators and more than 570 meters of Flite-Veyor horizontal drag conveyors. The elevators are supported by multiple towers and intermediate support towers from Sweet. The conveyors are supported by 304 meters of Silver Span catwalk and several Silver Span intermediate support towers.

The bucket elevators range from 18 meters to 52 meters in height.

The facility stores corn and other types of grain.


Mereworth, Kent, U.K.-based cooperative Weald Granary has installed a Precia-Molen GeneSYS Enterprise Software system as part of an on-going development program.

Owned by a membership of local farmers, Weald Granary is a non-profit making organization functioning as a grain drying, cleaning, handling and marketing facility. Serving Kent, Sussex, Surrey and Essex, the facility is one of a number of cooperative stores in the U.K. and Scotland, being part of the Openfield Store Network (OSN).

A recent investment of £1.75 million has provided a 26% increase in storage capacity to 80,000 tonnes.

Since the installation, Weald Granary said the GeneSYS Enterprise software has provided an expandable system which has provided many benefits including:

• Reduction in staffing levels

• Increased overall efficiency

• Decreased phone communication, as most communications are now through the web portal

• Decreased paperwork and decreased management
of paperwork

• System can be accessed remotely by OSN

• Management of incoming loads, variety, etc.


P.T. Welgro recently built a new feed mill in Cibinong, Indonesia that included the installation of steel storage silos for corn.

Over a 10-week period, ZhengChang, Shanghai, China, installed four silos measuring 7.32 meters in diameter,
19.42 meters at the eave and 21.28 meters in total height.

The company also installed grain conveying equipment that is rated at 50 tph. Total cost of the project was $300,000.


Ardar-Bar, Ltd., in 2011 opened two new inland grain storage facilities in Ukraine, purchasing grain handling equipment from Intersystems, Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.

The facilities were built in Mezhles’ye, Ukraine, which was completed in July 2011, and Krolevets, Ukraine, which began operating in December 2011. Each facility has a storage capacity of 55,000 tonnes, the silos measure 22 meters in diameter, 14 meters at the eave and 20 meters in total height. Behlen installed M7 hopper tanks at both grain storage complexes.

Intersystems grain handling equipment installed at the Mezhles’ye and Krolevets facilities include en-mass conveyors and bucket elevators with a rated capacity of 100 tph.


Spain-based Symaga will supply silos for a new port in Odessa, Ukraine, which is expected to be one of the largest grain export grain facilities in the nation. The project includes erection of flat-bottom silos, with a total storage capacity of 316.386 cubic meters. The project will be built in three phases:
•First phase: 11 silos, each 19.86 meters in diameter and up to 8.634 cubic-meter capacity. Total storage capacity is 94.974 cubic meters.
•Second phase: 10 silos, each 19.86 meters in diameter and up to 8.634 cubic-meter capacity. Total storage capacity is 86.34 cubic meters.
•Third phase: 12 silos, each 22.15 meters in diameter and up to 11.256 cubic-meter capacity. Total storage capacity is 135.072 cubic meters.