Kepler Weber updates its manufacturing facilities

by Emily Buckley
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PORTO ALEGRE, BRAZIL — The Kepler Weber Group has announced contracts for two soybean handling and storage projects, one in the United Arab Emirates and one in Turkey, totaling more than U.S.$5 million. The projects will result in the largest silo storage capacity in each of the two countries, Kepler Weber officials said.

The UAE project involves a U.S.$3.06-million contract with the Edible Oil Company for storage and handling facilities at a soybean plant at the Port of Jebel Ali, located about 35 km from Dubai. Edible Oil Company is a member of the CAM Group, and the contract represents Kepler Weber’s first project in the Emirates, in which Kepler will build 60,000 tonnes of storage in six steel silos. The silos will be equipped with conveyors for receiving soybeans at the port. The ship unloading capacity will be 600 tonnes per hour, and the loading conveyors will move soybean bran at 400 tonnes per hour. Also part of the contract are conveyors for feeding the edible oil plant, which has a soybean-crushing capacity of 2,000 tonnes per day, as well as conveyors for loading and unloading the soybean bran warehouse.

Kepler Weber has a tradition in foreign trade, until recently oriented to the Latin American market. The diversification provided by this transaction launches the organization towards new markets, company officials said.

Kepler Weber also recently closed a U.S.$2.2-million deal with Bunge Gida Ticaret, part of Bunge Limited, in Turkey to supply three 10,000-tonne SG-105 steel silos providing total storage capacity of 30,000 tonnes. The project also marks Kepler Weber’s first in Turkey. The facility, which includes 600-tph conveyors and metal structures, will be built in the Port of Derinci.

Construction plans involve special structural calculations because the site is located in a "Level 4" seismic region. The anti-earthquake technology was developed by Kepler Weber together with specialists and includes supply of the unit’s electric installations.

Kepler Weber also recently announced it would build a new BRL85 million (U.S.$28.6 million) manufacturing plant in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. The new unit, in the city of Campo Grande, will make silos, grain dryers, precleaning machines, bucket elevators and other equipment for storing and handling grain.

With the new plant, the group’s output capacity will double, able to transform 80,000 tonnes of steel annually beginning in 2005. Its Panambi facility in Rio Grande do Sul will continue to manufacture industrial and port installations, as well as other items. Kepler recently invested BRL12 million (U.S.$4 million) in upgrading its Panambi plant, which will receive additional investments of BRL$12 million this year, the company said.

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