We are pleased to have been asked to contribute to the Spring ’22 edition of the internationally renowned Dry Bulk Magazine. In a comprehensive article Richard Spaargaren from ESI explains what is happening in global supply chains and how it leads to the rise of large-scale vertical storage. Free download of the full article here .
Expansion hits boundaries
Economic growth has always been a driver for expansion of basic industries around the world. From our experience in the past decades, we know that increasing prosperity leads to higher production rates in the agro-, power and chemical industries. This impacts global supply chains and logistic solutions, due to the fact that production and consumption of most products take place in different regions in the world. However, the continuous expansion and higher volumes in the supply chains are hitting new boundaries: increasing scarcity of space and environmental regulations. Optimizing the equation causes producers to look in a different direction for bulk storage: vertical instead of the conventional horizontal solutions.
New applications of vertical storage
The need for a solution to cope with limited space in ports, terminals and plant sites has noticeably drawn the attention of various industries to the Eurosilo system. The enclosed storage system was designed in the late sixties for potato starch producers in the Netherlands, but quickly became a renowned system for the power industry after the concept was redesigned and optimized for storage of coal. Moving away from space-consuming open stockyards, the industry is now adopting enclosed, vertical storage for state-of-the-art power plants. In recent years we have seen the same quest for space-efficient alternatives in other industries. Obviously, space is no longer an infinite resource. On top of that, the bullwhip effect caused by the pandemic, drives the need for larger buffers in supply chains. As a result, we are researching large-scale storage of soybean in ports and terminals as well as material handling systems for the mining industry. From a long-term perspective, large scale vertical storage has only just begun.
Three different bulk handling systems
The Eurosilo system operates with three different bulk handling systems to meet the characteristics of products such as potato starch, fertilizer, FGD Gypsum, fly ash, coal, or soybean. These material-handling systems are suitable for a wide range of materials, whether they are cohesive, flammable, hygroscopic or have very fine particles. Infeed from the top, storage in uniform layers and discharge underneath the silo are handled by highly automated systems that reduce manpower requirements and ensure continuous system availability.
The Eurosilo is gaining ground in various sectors all over the world, from food-related industries to energy generation and industrial production. In order to be assured of sufficient buffers of potato starch in the coming years, KMC in Denmark has chosen to work with multiple Eurosilos. We have successfully commissioned their fourth potato starch silo in production, the latest silo at the Karup site as of this year. At the new Pulawy Power Station in Poland, we recently delivered a FGD Gypsum Silo for Mitsubishi Power Systems. In Hunutlu, Turkey, we are finishing the last of three 100.000 m3 coal storage silos in an environmentally sensitive area. And in Korea and China, several coal silos were commissioned at the end of last year. The reasons for all of these projects are, of course, economic viability, which is increasingly determined by the limits of a sustainable future.
Free download of the full article here.