grain storage and handling
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While investments in grain handling and storage make sense, there is a desire to keep facilities flexible so they can adjust to any fluctuations in the global economy, according to respondents of a recent World Grain survey of equipment suppliers.

“Investors therefore are keen to keep options in terms of operation and storage,” the supplier said. “This is either directly reflected in how the plant is built or, at least from an engineering point of view, that future extension or additions remain possible without major rework.”

High storage capacities to move throughput more efficiently with more safety features and remote operation options are trending, several suppliers commented.

High performing ship loading and unloading systems also are popular. Water shortage and climate changes influence grain production all over the world, making some regions unsuitable for cultivation and leading to an increase in imports and exports, one supplier said. As the possibilities to build suitable harbors is limited, storage capacity as well as ship loading and unloading performance must increase.

Harbor facilities in Ukraine and Russia have been a focus the last several years. To serve those export facilities in an efficient way, inland facilities have had to improve. Additionally, the further processing of grain is requiring better logistics and increased demand for inland terminals.

Demand is also strong for soy processing operations and feed mills, suppliers said.

Customers have climate-specific requests such as seismic and high wind designs, or high galvanization steel for tropical areas and stronger roofs for heavier snow loads in northern countries.

Food loss also is a major concern, especially with the massive population growth expected in the coming decades. More mouths to feed will require an increase in food production as well as an improvement in post-harvest handling and a reduction of post-harvest losses.

“An ever-greater number of people increases the need for more reliable and safe ways to store our food staples,” one supplier said. “Also, variations in price of the commodities push traders and producers alike to increase their storing capacity to better accommodate price fluctuations.”

Design trends are focusing on monitoring systems to give indications and predictions to help assure minimal loss in value. New smart sensors are getting more attention as grain handlers seek new technology to give them a competitive advantage.

“Investors are looking for long-lasting solutions that guarantee a safe working environment for their staff and a sound and protective facility for their goods in store,” one supplier said.

Food security is a major driver for investment. This is especially true in Asia with government tenders for storage sites. Another trend in the last few years has been investment by Chinese organizations outside of China, one supplier said.

Other regions around the world that have high demand for construction include Latin America; Eastern Europe, specifically Ukraine and Russia; and Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines. Greenfield projects are particularly strong in Southeast Asia, compared to other regions where the focus is on expansion of existing facilities, one supplier said.

However, demand is taking a hit from tariffs, possible trade wars and steel prices, suppliers noted.

“Some producers in regions with higher/new tariffs may be bracing for higher supply costs and competitive losses,” a supplier said. “In our trade, a world with lower trade barriers has allowed producers and end consumers alike to access safer and more reliable installations and, top of all, food.”

Argentinean grain facility expands with sweet

Diego Hollender, a commercial grain facility in eastern Argentina, has expanded its facility multiple times, turning to Sweet Manufacturing Co., Springfield, Ohio, U.S., for material handling equipment. Diego Hollender processes many varieties of grain at up to 240 tonnes per hour.

Sweet has worked with its longtime dealer in Argentina, Suc. de Héctor M. Díaz, on the many phases of the facility, and has installed a complete range of equipment. The most recent expansion project included a Silver-Sweet model Queen 115-foot bucket elevator, three horizontal Flite-Veyor models 1017 and 1417 drag conveyors, for a combined distance totaling 294 feet.

The conveyors are supported by Silver Span catwalk and intermediate support towers.

This expansion is the latest in a long line of projects between Sweet and Diego Hollender. Sweet has partnered with Diego Hollender since 2011 to provide material handling equipment for several load out grain points and multiple receiving locations.

Within the last few years, Diego Hollender has added three Silver-Sweet bucket elevators and more than 925 combined feet of Flite-Veyor 17 series horizontal and 12-inch round bottom drag conveyors for a seed conditioning facility.

Those elevators are supported by towers with ladder and cage, while the conveyors are supported by Silver Span catwalk and multiple intermediate support towers. The companies said the long-standing partnership among Sweet, Suc. de Héctor M. Díaz and Diego Hollender has proven to be beneficial for all involved.

Indian brewery adds storage

Sioux Steel Co., based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, U.S., recently supplied hopper-bottom silos for SNJ Breweries Pvt. Ltd., one of the largest breweries in south India. The facility, located in Andhra Pradesh, India, handles broken rice, barley and malt.

This was Sioux Steel’s first project with SNJ Breweries, and it took about 45 days to complete. Equipment supplied included four 250-tonne hopper-bottom silos for barley storage and two 200-tonne hopper-bottom silos for broken rice storage.

The local Sioux Steel team took the responsibility of direct project supervision, and the project was completed well before the deadline.

LNZ Group recently completed a large-scale grain logistic terminal for receiving, pre-cleaning, drying and storage of 44,000 tonnes of corn in Bilopilla, Sumy Oblast, Ukraine, with the helpt of PETKUS Technologie GmbH. Photo courtesy of PETKUS.

Ukraine corn terminal already expanding

LNZ Group, one of the flagships of Ukraine’s agricultural sector, recently completed a large-scale grain logistic terminal for receiving, pre-cleaning, drying and storage of 44,000 tonnes of corn in Bilopillia, Sumy Oblast, Ukraine. Work on the second phase of the project, with a capacity of 33,000 tonnes, is already underway with completion expected by the end of 2018.

Construction work on the greenfield BK Megapolis LLC site started in April 2017 and commissioning began in November 2017.

PETKUS Technologie GmbH, Wutha-Farnroda, Germany, provided the engineering works, delivery and production of all the equipment, supervision, commissioning and startup. All equipment is produced by PETKUS. Local construction and civil works were completed by ETUAL Ltd., a longtime partner of PETKUS.

Equipment included two intake pits; two independent lines for intake, each with a capacity of 250 tph; conveying equipment with a capacity of 250 tph, including bucket elevators, chain conveyors and belt conveyors; two independent lines for precleaning with four rotary drum cleaners and four screening machines and a capacity of 250 tph each; and two independent drying lines with four continuous flow dryers model DDU 60-20 and a capacity of 100 tph each.

Storage for the 44,000 tonnes of grain include eight corrugated flat-bottom round silos; six hopper silos; and nine loading bin cells with ladders, catwalks, rest platform, ventilation system, temperature control system, sweep augers, inspection holes and filling sensors.

Work also included a 250-tph capacity line for truck loading and loading/unloading line for wagons, including loading bins and intake stations. PETKUS also supplied the piping, aspiration and central plant control system.

The expansion will include six additional silos with a storage capacity of 33,000 tonnes of corn. In addition to corn, the facility can handle wheat, rapeseed, soybeans, barley and sunflowers.

Agroholding is involved in seed growing, grain marketing, crop production and distribution of planting material and plant protection products and is expanding into the agrochemicals business.

Dmitry Kravchenko, chairman of the supervisory board of LNZ Group, said the main task of the facility is to quickly take, dry and ship grain. The company invested $15 million on construction of the facility.

PETKUS has worked with LNZ Group the last five years on multiple projects, including design, delivery and operation of the Lebedyn corn seed plant in 2013-14 as well as design, delivery and operation of an intake, cleaning and drying line for sunflowers in 2016. In August, PETKUS will complete and put into operation a second corn cob dryer for LNZ Group’s existing corn seed plant in Lebedyn, Ukraine.

New feed mill in Turkey

Rana Farm Lidas completed a new feed mill in Karaman, Turkey, with equipment supplied by the Altuntas Group, Aksaray, Turkey. The facility has the capacity to store 34,470 tonnes of corn and also will handle wheat and barley. It was designed according to standard warehouse licensing requirements.

Altuntas provided 10 silo bins, model DT1819; four bins, model KT0808; one bin, model KT0507; and a vertical dryer, model FKMD50 with a capacity of 50 tph. Total handling capacity is 150 tph.

City Group commissioned its rice paddy and red lentil processing facilities in Dhaka, Bangladesh, with equipment supplied by Bühler. Photo courtesy of Bühler.

City Group builds rice, lentil processing facilities

After three years of planning and construction, City Group commissioned its rice paddy processing and red lentil processing facilities in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in August 2017. City Auto Rice and Dal Mills Ltd. is one of more than 20 companies in City Group, which has become one of the top 10 businesses in Bangladesh.

Planning on the greenfield project started in October 2014 on an undeveloped plot along the Buriganga River. City Group worked with its longtime partner, Bühler, based in Uzwil, Switzerland, for the project. The companies have worked together in the past on flour mill and animal feed projects.

The plant processes paddy into white rice while a separate facility processes red lentils and also has a bagging facility for wheat. Connected to the rice processing facility is a paddy parboiling system and a biomass steam boiler, which uses rice husk as fuel. The rice husk is collected from three installed rice processing lines and the generated steam is used for the parboiling process and the parboiled paddy dryers.

Bühler provided a range of systems from handling and conveying to processing and drying for the two facilities. For conveying, Bühler supplied equipment to and from the 22 steel silos that have a total storage capacity of 130,000 tonnes. Intake lines included one ship line with a capacity of 600 tph for wheat and 250 tph for paddy; one truck line with a capacity of 150 tph for wheat and pulses; and four truck lines, each with a capacity of 62.5 tph for paddy.

Processing systems included one 8 tph for paddy rice; two 32 tph for parboiled rice; and one 200 tph for pulses (red lentils). The drying system included STKX6D-15/02 dryers, four with a capacity of 45 tph for paddy rice and three with a capacity of 28.5 tph for parboiled rice.

Conveying systems have a capacity to handle paddy rice at a rate of 28.5 to 250 tph and wheat from 150 to 600 tph. The facility includes three wheat bagging lines that have a capacity to bag 600 50-kg bags per hour for up to 108 tph.

Ship loading capacity is 400 tph for wheat. Dedusting includes 13 systems with air flow of 100 cubic meters per minute up to 468 cubic meters per minute.

Warrior supplies handling equipment in Ukraine

Warrior Mfg. LLC, based in Hutchinson, Minnesota, U.S., supplied handling equipment for expansion of Vector Oil’s inland elevator in Vinnitsa, Ukraine.

The facility handles wheat, corn and sunflower seeds, and loads products at a rate of 125 tph. Warrior’s portion of the project took five months to complete and included chain conveyors and bucket elevators.

Ethanol plant adds massive storage

As part of its new ethanol plant being constructed in Atlantic, Iowa, U.S., Elite Octane needed a massive amount of corn storage. Once it is operational, anticipated in the third quarter of this year, the facility will have the capacity to produce 120 million gallons of ethanol per year.

Having a large amount of bin storage would allow the plant to have space for the yield increases seen in the last decade and remove the need for ground storage. Grain bins not only will last for years to come, they help maintain better grain quality.

Elite Octane turned to Sukup Manufacturing Co., based in Sheffield, Iowa, U.S., for engineering of some of the largest free-span grain bins in the world. The two bins have a diameter of 156 feet and total storage of 2 million bushels each. Sukup also supplied a zero-entry commercial auger sweep and steel buildings.

Constructing bins of this magnitude requires some special considerations. Modifications had to be made to the existing roof design to allow for 100,000-pound roof loads, which was in addition to an unbalanced snow load and the temperature cable load. Sukup also designed a new door to allow for the extra grain pressure from a bin that holds almost 2 million bushels.

The company used its patented splice plates to create a double shear point on the splice bolt, making for a stronger connection due to the proper alignment and more even load on the bolts compared to traditional overlap on vertical seams.

In bins of this size, free flowing grain and grain quality is a major concern. Sukup’s patent-pending double-ended stud bolt ensures a tight seal directly to the outer sidewall sheet behind the stiffener, eliminating water infiltration between the sheets and into the grain. A 21-foot deck is engineered into the peak of the bins, providing a safe place to work and an ideal place to mount catwalks and equipment.

Zemlya i Volya turned to Behlen and dealer ADEPT Group for grain storage totaling 74,800 cubic meters. Photo courtesy of Behlen. 

Ukraine terminal adds storage capacity

When looking to expand storage at its inland grain storage terminal in central Ukraine, Zemlya i Volya turned to Behlen Manufacturing, based in Columbus, Nebraska, U.S., and dealer ADEPT Group, as it had four previous times. This most recent project, completed in 2017, took six months to finish.

Behlen provided 11 model 22x16 grain silos measuring 22 meters in diameter, 16 meters to the eaves and 22 meters to the peak. Each silo has a maximum capacity of 6,800 cubic meters for total storage of 74,800 cubic meters.

While the silos are designed to store a variety of grains, the primary grain stored is corn.

Ukraine soybean processor increases storage capacity

Rentcom LLC, a soybean processor in western Ukraine, recently completed the first stage of soybean storage at its new facility in Zalishchyky, Ternopil Oblast, Ukraine. This stage, completed in November 2017, has capacity of 30,000 tonnes while the entire project will have a capacity of 90,000 tonnes.

Rentcom processes soybeans into oil and meal, which is used in livestock and poultry farming in the western region of Ukraine. Raw materials are purchased from farms and elevators in Ukraine. The facility can process 3,000 to 3,500 tonnes of soybeans per month.

The company reflects the main grain handling trends in the Ukrainian marketplace: self-owned grain facilities with energy-efficient, high-capacity and low dust emission drying equipment, gentle conveying systems and train loading units, where it is possible. They want as short of a grain logistic chain as possible so they can focus on exports or processing.

Tornum, Kvanum, Sweden, was a major supplier for the first phase of the project. Equipment included:

  • Two receiving pits for different types of trucks with a capacity of 100 tonnes each.
  • New series Tornum dryer TKDC6-24-4 with dust control, equipped with intelligent dryer control system IDC. The heat source is natural gas.
  • Industrial cleaning machine LAAB TAS 154A-4 with horizontal vibrating sieves and air aspiration and central dedusting system.
  • Three buffer silos for wet grain, 200 tonnes each with their own aeration system and temperature monitoring system.
  • Storage capacity of 30,000 tonnes, including six silos for dry grain equipped with temperature monitoring system and connection to PC.
  • Skandia H-line, I-line conveying equipment with a capacity of 100 tph.
  • Tornum bulk loading bins model UT 30×50-7 for truck loading with grain, second-grade grain, coarse particles and dust.
  • Fully computerized control system for plant based on PLC with interface via PC, service information option for correct operation.

GSS supplies handling equipment to COFCO

As part of one of the largest integrated grain and oil industrial parks of COFCO in China, COFCO Oils and Grains Industries Co., Ltd. Dongguan, China, recently completed its first phase of construction. GSS Systems Co. Ltd. provided all the handling equipment for this facility. The Jiangsu, China-based company said it stood out because its equipment, which included conveyors and bucket elevators, had low cost of ownership and effective system support.

The COFCO facility, which produces edible soybean oil, palm oil, and soybean meal, handles and will handle a wide range of grains and oilseeds, including soybeans, rapeseed, corn, wheat, palm fruit, peanuts and more.

Overall, the project took 386 days to complete. The grain facility includes 120,000 tonnes of silo storage for soybeans, 48,000 tonnes of silo storage for soybean meal, a 100,000-tonne meal warehouse and an oil pressing plant with capacity of 3,600 tpd.

GSS provided bucket elevators and drag conveyors with a capacity from 150-1,200 tph; belt conveyors at 600 tph, for more than 100 peices of conveyors and elevators in total.

PT Cerestar recently completed its second expansion at its flour mill in Medan on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia, with equipment supplied by Chief Agri. Photo courtesy of Chief. 

PT Cerestar adds storage at flour mill

PT Cerestar recently completed its second expansion at its flour mill in Medan on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia. Chief Agri, based in Kearney, Nebraska, U.S., supplied equipment for each stage of the expansion. Each stage took place in one year, with three years between.

In the first stage of the project, Chief supplied silos with a capacity of 54,000 tonnes; elevators and chain conveyors with capacities of 500 and 300 tph. Chief supplied additional silos with a capacity of 46,000 tonnes as well as additional elevators and chain conveyors for the second stage of the project. The facility handles wheat.

Ramen producer adds flour storage

Established in 1971, Samyang Foods Co., Ltd.’s ramen production facility in Iksan, South Korea, has seen several updates in its history. In 1998, production was expanded from only domestic packaged ramen to ramen for exports and snacks. Twelve years later, the facility was certified HACCP, and in 2012 the facility was automated.

Most recently, it added catwalks and specialty large hopper-bottom silos to store wheat. In its first project with Samyang, Symaga, based in Villarta de San Juan, Spain, supplied silos with a combined capacity of 12,945 cubic meters, closed catwalks and supports. The project took six months to complete.

Quality management and providing a safe food supply are important to the company, which produces 13 kinds of ramen.

Hughes Farms adds barley storage

Nestled in the heart of picturesque Skagit Valley in Mount Vernon, Washington, U.S., Hughes Farms was in need of storage for barley and other grains.

This fourth-generation farm turned to SCAFCO Grain Systems’ dealer Scott Rock of Rock Steel Structures, based in Moses Lake, Washington, U.S.

The top-of-the-line storage and handling equipment was constructed within a matter of months. SCAFCO supplied four 1,146-tonne bins, 250 tph galvanized chain conveyors for easy loading and unloading, and a galvanized catwalk for safety.

As a large-scale farm with many rotating crops, Hughes Farm will take full advantage of their SCAFCO bins’ versatility to store not only barley, but various other types of grain as well.

The farm focuses on fresh market crops such as a variety of potatoes and broccoli, and rotates with wheat, barley, corn and seed crop.