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One country – three projects

02.03.2009 First a ship loader in Moss, then a ship unloader in Fredrikstad, and finally a combined loader and unloader in Florø: The Buhler Grain Handling business unit has implemented three projects in Norway within three years. When we say Norway, what first comes to mind are a rugged Atlantic seaboard with a length of about 25,000 kilometers dotted by numerous large and small port cities and towns. The country’s food industry is concentrated around these ports. And this industry is increasingly relying on Buhler ship loading and unloading systems for handling materials: Over the past three years, the Buhler Grain Handling business unit has installed three entirely different facilities for handling raw materials for food production for three independent Scandinavian customers. The hub in charge of these three projects is the Scandinavian Buhler affiliated company in Malmö.

First project in Moss
Moss has a population of around 30,000 and is thus Norway’s thirteenth largest city. It is located in the province of Østfold in the southeastern part of Norway at the entrance to the Oslofjord. In the port of Moss, the Swedish Lantmännen Group operates a production complex with various plants and grain terminals. Lantmännen is the Scandinavian market leader in the field of industrial grain processing. The group produces flour, breakfast cereals, bread, and pasta in different countries. Every year, the Lantmännen Group processes 400,000 metric tons of grain. The production facilities in Moss also include numerous grain terminals. Their main function is to serve as intermediate stores for holding different grain varieties. From the port of Moss, Lantmännen supplies numerous of its own production plants in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark with raw materials. For this fine distribution of raw materials, Lantmännen utilizes ships with sizes up to 6000 DWT. Lantmännen entrusted Buhler with the supply of a ship loader of type Portaload with a capacity of 300 metric tons per hour, especially designed for loading these vessels and intended as an addition to its existing loaders and unloaders. Because the loading point is located near a residential area, loading operations must generate minimum emissions. The new Buhler Portaload is therefore equipped with a low-noise dust suppression loading spout. The Portaload installed in the port of Lantmännen went into service on schedule in 2006.

Second project in Fredrikstad
A year later, Buhler implemented its second of the total of three Norwegian projects, this time in Fredrikstad. This fifth-largest city in Norway (population 91,000) is located a mere 35 kilometers from Moss, also in the province of Østfold on the estuary of the Glomma. The customer is Denofa AS. Established in 1912, Denofa AS today produces oils, proteins, and lecithin from soybeans in its modern factory in Fredrikstad, where it employs 55 persons. Denofa AS is Scandinavia’s sole soybean processor. Its customers include food producers and feed manufacturers in the Nordic countries. Every year, Denofa AS processes some 400,000 metric tons of soybeans. The raw materials come from integrated production (IP) farms and are guaranteed not to be genetically modified. The soybeans are grown in Brazil and Canada. From there, they are transported by large bulk carriers to Fredrikstad. During transportation, the load undergoes heavy mechanical motions and is thereby compacted. Therefore, when Denofa AS ordered an unloader of type Portalino 300/30 RK in 2006 with a capacity of 300 metric tons per hour for unloading vessels with a size up to 40,000 DWT, the company defined a special requirement: “As a result of the long transportation time and the maritime conditions, the soybeans form a compact mass that is hard to unload,” explains Alexander Cajar, the Buhler area manager in charge. But the problem was quickly and lastingly solved: “We attached special unloading screws to both sides of the marine leg that shovels the soybeans out of the ship’s holds. They loosen the compacted soybeans mechanically so that they can be conveyed.” The new unloader of Denofa AS in Fredrikstad has been in operation since the summer of 2007 and is working to the customer’s entire satisfaction.

Third project in Florø - combined loader and unloader
The affiliated company in Florø is one of three fish feed factories operated by the EWOS Group in Norway. The factory includes large warehouses for storing the raw materials. From here, the other EWOS production plants are supplied with raw materials. In addition, numerous fish farms are supplied directly with finished fish feed by smaller vessels. For EWOS, this means that it needs both a loader and an unloader for ships of different sizes. The combi-facility supplied by Buhler perfectly satisfies this requirement. The Portalino Combi 300/30 RK has an unloading capacity of 300 metric tons per hour for ships up to 30,000 DWT and a loading capacity of 200 metric tons per hour for ships up to 5000 DWT. For unloading, the same marine leg is applied for wheat and fish meal, which is slightly sticky. The ships are gently loaded with fish feed pellets through a special dust suppression head. The new facility operated by EWOS AS is currently being constructed under wintertime conditions. It will go into service in early spring this year. “Our people do not have any trouble working in the cold and when snow falls,” says Alexander Cajar. “Since we started with our three projects, we have become true Scandinavia specialists!”

The new Portalino 300/30 RK of Denofa AS in the port of Fredrikstad. The new Portalino 300/30 RK of Denofa AS in the port of Fredrikstad.