El Grano LLP, Akkol City, Kazakhstan

Greenfield silo plant in the heart of Eurasia

Located in Kazakhstan in the heart of Eurasia, the milling company El Grano set out to overcome regional challenges and focus on quality in order to gain a competitive advantage in the global market – assisted by the expertise and dedication of Bühler’s local Grain Management Division.

Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, is located on the historical Silk Road at the center of the Eurasian continent. This is where East meets West – where different civilizations and cultures have connected and exchanged goods and ideas for centuries. Businesses located here have access to the markets of Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States, China and countries to the south. El Grano was founded here in 1997, a hundred kilometers north of Astana in the Akmola region. The company original milled wheat with relatively small capacities, but its ambitious management team decided to step up activities in grain handling and processing and tap into the opportunities offered by its extraordinary location.

In 2018, El Grano commissioned Bühler’s Grain Management Division in Kazakhstan to build a greenfield silo plant for wheat and sunflower seeds with a total storage capacity of 12,000 tons. The order also included state-of-the-art solutions for intake and loading with access via train and truck, conveying, automation, cleaning and drying systems. The plant was planned and built with future growth in mind – it will be extended in future with a new mill and additional silo storage.

El Grano faced several challenges on different levels but had also identified strategic goals to establish itself in the market. The Kazakhstan market is dominated by large private and state-owned holdings that define trends and tend to rely on quantity rather than quality of the product. Local requirements and standards are therefore in many respects much lower than on the international stage.

El Grano decided that in order to compete in the international market they needed to focus on quality, not just quantity. The company set out to cater for customers with high demands and to offer made-to-measure solutions. Determined to meet international standards, El Grano wanted a state-of the-art plant with flexibility in operation and the option to extend storage capacity in future. 

Smaller companies in Kazakhstan have difficulty financing investment in new plants and modernization. Currency fluctuation, harvest risks, poor service networks and a low-skilled workforce add to the challenges. To justify the investment, only highly reliable machinery accompanied by the best advice, training and support were considered.

El Grano wanted a state-of-the-art plant that would provide reliability and flexibility in operation, installed by a company with a local presence. Bühler met these requirements and more. The local team’s attention to detail, outstanding fulfilment and the support provided during and after project execution all played a decisive role. Other factors that helped included Bühler’s expertise in purchasing third party equipment and the company’s ability to plan for future expansion.


Project management and ongoing support.

The plant successfully went into commission in 2018. Bühler provided 24/7 customer support and took great care in considering El Grano’s specific requests and needs. Bühler also assisted in securing government support and subsidies. Knowledge transfer was a key element during implementation. The customer benefitted from visits to different reference projects in other countries, many discussions with experts, training courses and learning programs.


The benefits of the new plant are already becoming clear. El Grano is now in a position to process even low-quality raw wheat into a high-quality product. The day-to-day operation of the plant requires less personnel and less energy. The systems are intelligent and easy to run. The company now achieves significantly lower operational cost per ton than its competitors. Furthermore, the implementation of the new plant has resulted in the best sustainable and environmental solution. These advantages are already attracting new staff to work for the company and are helping El Grano secure new order and customers.

With the new plant successfully in operation El Grano already plans to extend the current set-up by installing a new mill and additional silo storage

If you want to be a leader, you have to work with the best: the best people, the best suppliers and business partners, the best solutions, and the best equipment and technologies.

Andrey Yurchenko, Owner - El Grano


50 t/h
Drying technology
The Bühler Eco Dry dries homogenous and on a high quality level
Trough chain conveyors
Combined with ten elevators deliver highest conveying standards
100 t/h
Universal cleaning machine
The universal cleaning machine TAS is known for high-throughput as well as for its hygienic and efficient system
Today we operate the most advanced plant in Kazakhstan.

Vitaliy Goncharuk, Director, El Grano.

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