Demand strong for new mills

by Meyer Sosland
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World Grain magazine’s annual survey on the international milling industry’s suppliers of equipment, services and facilities indicates that demand for greenfield projects and facility upgrades remains strong. While some have seen steady demand, others remarked that the requests for new mills are starting to outstrip requests for upgrades.

Most suppliers see demand for new facilities in emerging nations to be stronger than the demand in the established markets of Europe and the U.S., where upgrades and retooling account for the majority of the projects. South America, North Africa, the Middle East and Asia are all markets where suppliers are seeing strong demand for new mills.

Customers continue to demand post-installation service and training, equipment designed with sanitation in mind, efficiency, low energy, easy maintenance and long-term durability. Traceability along the ingredient stream is becoming increasingly important to more food companies throughout the world. A common demand for milling projects is fully automated mills that enable companies to avoid the high costs associated with labor.

The following are just a few of the major milling construction projects that have been completed recently.

Greenfield mill for a Brazilian cooperative

In the second half of 2013, Coopavel Cooperativa Agroindustrial finished a year-and-a-half-long project to build a $9 million, 480-tonne-per-24-hour wheat flour mill in Cascavel, Brazil. This cost includes equipment, electrical panels and automation of the mill, but it does not include the cost of civil works to this greenfield project.

The height of the facility’s six-story mill section is 32 meters, and its footprint is around 7,000 square meters. The facility has a grain storage capacity of 18,800 tonnes. The facility has four grain silos that each can hold 4,200 tonnes and five silos with the capacity to hold 400 tonnes each. In addition to those bins, the facility also has 16 post-moisturization resting silos with a total capacity of 960 tonnes.

As a cooperative, Coopavel Cooperativa Agroindustrial sources its wheat from its members. The Cascavel mill produces flour prepared for many different applications: bakery, biscuits, pastas, pizzas, etc. The mill can produce three types of flour simultaneously. The company’s customers include consumers, supermarket chains and distributors.

Fortaleza, Brazil-based Sangati Berga supplied all the equipment in the mill. The facility has the room to expand production capacity to 650 tonnes per 24 hours. The Cascavel mill’s wheat cleaning section has a capacity of 25 tph and includes electronic scales, magnetics, vibrating separator with air separator recycling, stoner, trieur, grain infestation destroyer, intensive scourers with air separator recycling and automatic dampening system type ACQUA RATE.

After tempering and resting in the silos, the wheat goes to the second cleaning through multiple discharge units, gravimetric measures, intensive scourer with open air separator, nebulizer screw, bin for fast rest, electronic scale and magnetics. All circuits are aspirated by high-efficiency filters.

The facility also has a complete section of screenings treatment with electronic scale for control, impurities separation in coarse and fines by turbo-sifter, magnetic control, grinding of coarse screenings and pneumatic transport to a single silo.

The milling section features Sangati Berga’s new PRIME Roller Mills. The section includes two doubles 125/25, five singles 125/25 and 15 singles 100/25. The milling section also has new FORTRESS plansifters, new CLASS purifiers, bran finishers, vibrating turbo-sifters, flour detachers, centrifugal detachers, pneumatic conveying system of the mill products, re-treat column, and high pressure filters for pneumatic and aspiration.

To prevent contamination, the milling section building is pressurized by insufflated air.

Sangati Berga also provided the whole system to transport the flour to the silos, via pneumatic lines, passing through safety plansifters, magnetics, electronic scales and a flour infestation destroyer.

With a flour storage capacity of 980 tonnes, the Cascavel mill’s flour bins include four 165-tonne-capacity bins and eight 40-tonne-capacity bins. All the flour silos are equipped with a vibrating extractor and screw conveyors monitored by frequency inverter.

Sangati Berga also provided two 25-tph lines with linear continuous mixers, with micro-feeders on cell loads, for ingredients to be added in the flour, if necessary.

Sinaloa corn mill

Servicios Agropecuarios de la Costa S.A. (SACSA) finished building a corn (maize) mill in Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico in July 2014. The $5.8 million greenfield project currently has an intake capacity of 10 tph with the option of future expansion to 15 tph. The facility has a storage capacity of 64,000 tonnes.

Satake USA was contracted to supply the main processing equipment for cleaning, tempering, degerming, polishing grits, size reduction with the new generation of SNR Rollermills from Satake, scales for process and yield control and electrical control systems. Satake also provided process and design engineering along with site supervision during installation, start-up and the training of operators.

The Mexican general contractor MARVA supplied the building, conveying systems, silos, filter, installation and accessories.

The facility can produce cleaned whole corn, flaking grits, brewers’ grits, course snack grits and byproducts for animal feed. The facility sources its corn from the surrounding Mexican state of Sinaloa.

From the mill’s two 300-tonne-capacity storage bins, the yellow corn is mechanically transported to the Drum Separator SDIA functioning as a pre-cleaner. The main cleaning section consists of a Milling Separator SFI, which removes large and small impurities before entering the Destoner SGA. Magnets are not installed only in the cleaning section, but also as a protection before fast rotating process equipment and at the backend of the plant where the final products enter the packaging section.

In order to prepare the corn for the degermination section, the tempering system is set so that the water only penetrates the pericarp of the corn. This controlled water addition is designed so that the pericarp develops blisters and the germ swells. Both components loosen their attachment to the grain and each other so the Degermer VBF can easily remove the pericarp, break the endosperm and release the germ. The corn germ is recovered after the milling and grading system.

The mill has a KB-Polisher installed to provide added value to the flaking grits by polishing the surface. An additional size reduction with SNR Rollermills from Satake enables the plant to produce other corn grits and corn flour products.

The plant distributes the final products and byproducts by packaging in 50-kg bags and 1,000-kg super sacks. The mill also plans to add rail and truck loading in the future.

Cooperative expands into milling sector

Cooperativa Agroindustrial Batavo has built a greenfield 400-tonne-per-24-hour flour mill in the city of Ponta Grossa, Brazil. The contracts for the supplying the facility were signed in early 2013. The startup tests were being conducted in July of this year. The mill will produce flour for bread, pasta and cakes and biscuits. For Cooperativa Agroindustrial Batavo, this investment in the milling sector is a novelty, and its purpose is to increase the added value with respect to the production of wheat.

The Ponta Grossa mill has nine metal silos with a storage capacity of about 20,000 tonnes of wheat. The mill’s concrete building is five stories plus the ground floor. If the need arrives in the future, the facility does have room for a second line.

Cremona, Italy-based Ocrim S.p.A. was contracted to supply and build the mill. It supplied all the electro-mechanical equipment. Ocrim noted the cleaning section will utilize a color sorter, and the plant will have the capability of mixing both grains and flours.

Ocrim also supplied the automation part, by which it is possible to monitor the whole system as well as to obtain the traceability of all the products, on line stock, quantities divided by individual productions and history of all productions. There is also the automatic management of the mixtures on the basis of the recipes stored in the same system.

The plant was designed to have a low-energy impact throughout the whole design.

Grand mills adds Abu Dhabi mill

Grand Mills, which is part of The Agthia Group PJSC, recently completed the erection and commissioning of a new 400-tph flour milling line at its existing facility in Mina Port Zayed, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The Grand Mills project involved the dismantling of the old flour milling line and the supply, erection and commissioning of a new state-of-the-art automated milling line in the existing building with the minimum of civil works and damage to accommodate the new milling line.

Corum, Turkey-based Alapala was the prime contractor and supplier of equipment for the project. Alapala noted that the new milling line was handed over within the stipulated time given by Grand Mills. The project was carried out by a team of supervisors and erectors from Alapala. Grand Mills has benefited by reduction of the power consumption and less operating staff.

The new milling line has enabled Grand Mills to become a major milling company in the region. Agthia Group PJSC is listed in the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) with its symbol “Agthia,” which in Arabic means nourishment. The majority shareholding is held by SENAAT General Holding Corporation, an Abu Dhabi government entity and the rest being held by institutional and individual investors.

The group, which has four divisions involved in the production of food, beverages and dairy products, is the largest in its sector in the UAE and one of the leading in the region. It also has assets in Egypt and Turkey and employs 2,000 people overall.

Spanish oat mill

Harivenasa, S.L. completed building a €11 million oat flaking installation in Noaín, Pamplona, Spain in October of 2013. The project was started in early September of 2011.

The oat flaking installation has equipment to clean, dehull, cut, flake, mix, grind and store the oats. The facility was supplied by an affiliate of Uzwil, Switzerland-based Bühler.

The principal idea of this installation was to work with Scandanavian, English and local oats from the surrounding region of Navarre. Pamplona is the capital of Navarre, an autonomous community in northern Spain.

This is a special milling installation, and it principally supplies the southern European market. One of the facility’s primary customer is General Mills, which uses oat flakes to make energy bars.

This project represents a first for the Spanish affiliate of Bühler (BMAD). It is the organization’s first oats-installation with 100% Bühler machinery + WinCos.

Senegalese flour mill

In April 2014, Singapore-based Olam International completed building a 500-tonne-per-day flour mill in Diamniadio, Dakar, Senegal. The greenfield project took 21 months to complete.

The mill building has five floors plus the ground floor and roof. The facility also includes a warehouse with a 1,800-square-meter footprint. The mill site has been designed specifically to accommodate Olam’s future expansion plans.

Various flour types are produced in the mill and packed by a carousel packing machine in 50-kg bags to supply the local market. The facility sources its wheat from France and Canada.

Uzwil,Switzerland-based Bühler supplied the steel construction for the building, silos, machinery and electrical infrastructure. Civil works were done by General Enterprise, a Senegalese company under Olam’s supervision.

The flour mill has five 5,000-tonne wheat storage silos that were supplied by Frame.

Benghazi flour mill

The construction and commissioning of Al Gwda Al Faika’s flour mill in Benghazi, Libya was completed in April 2014. The greenfield project took four months to complete.

The new mill has a production capacity of 400 tonnes per 24 hours and an extraction rate between 79% and 80%.

The facility has a grain storage capacity of 40,000 tonnes, and the mill building is 2,100 square meters and covers three floors. If there is demand in the market, the facility has room to increase production capacity to 800 tonnes.

The mill sources its wheat from the U.S., Ukraine, Russia and Kazakhstan. The mill produces and sells flour for bread and for baklava. Its primary focus is the local market.

The owners of the mill contracted IMAS, Konya, Turkey, to build and supply the facility. The mill consists of four 100-tonne-per-24-hour lines. In each line, there are six single-deck Millennium roller mills and two quadro plansifters with six passages. There are two cleaning lines that each have a capacity of 10 tph.

First phase of Turkish flour mill complete

In February 2014, Kozlu Gida completed building the first phase of a flour mill project that currently has a capacity of 1,000 tonnes per day but is planned to eventually have a capacity of 3,000 tonnes. The greenfield project was built in Amasya, Turkey and took two-and-a-half years to complete. The wheat storage capacity of the mill facility is 120,000 tonnes.

Corum, Turkey-based Ugur Makina supplied the mill with two 500-tonne-per-day milling lines. The facility is highly automated, and energy savings was a major goal. All machines and connection equipment are stainless steel or chrome plated.

The mill sources its wheat from both domestic and foreign markets, especially Russia. Kozlu Gida’s primary flour brand is MİSUN. The company also produces corn and eggs. Its primary markets are Turkey, Lıbya, Georgia, Iraq and the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, an autonomous area of Azerbaijan.

Cairo flour mill

The El-Khatab Milling Co., one of the biggest private flour producers in Egypt, built and commissioned a new flour mill in April 2014 that produces 550 tonnes of flour per day. The mill has a 77% extraction rate at .5% ash.

The facility’s grain storage consists of nine 2,500-tonne-capacity bins. The mill, which is located in Cairo, Egypt, is a five-story concrete building with 15,000 square meters of space. The building for the greenfield project cost €5 million to build, while the facility’s equipment cost €7 million and the wheat storage silos €2 million. The facility has room for an additional 350 tonnes per day of flour milling capacity.

Padua, Italy-based OMAS S.R.L was contracted in late 2011 to supply the project. OMAS installed Leonardo Rollermills, a Dew Point Free Galileo Sifter, Hard Wheat decorticator Giotto and Fotoseparator. OMAS said all the machinery was produced in Western Europe without any sub-supply from China or Turkey.

The mill sources its wheat from the U.S., Europe and Egypt. The mill produces fine and coarse bran and high protein flour for the supply of industrial baking and pasta customers.