Grain handling company El Grano’s expansion plans for its recently completed Kazakhstan facility for wheat and sunflowerseeds include a new mill and additional silo storage, World Grain reported on 6 June.

The company, which originally milled wheat in relatively small capacities, commissioned the greenfield silo facility in Akkol City in 2018.

The site has a total storage capacity of 12,000 tonnes, train and truck intake and loading facilities, and processing equipment including a drum sieve, a universal cleaning machine and conveying equipment.

El Grano is now planning to increase the silo storage capacity to 40,000 tonnes and build a 150 tonnes/day mill by 2025, according to World Grain.

Founded in 1997 with one silo storage unit and two flour mills, El Grano decided to develop its grain handling and processing operations to take advantage of its strategic location, with access to Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States, China and countries to the south, World Grain said.

The company faced several challenges including the fact that the Kazakhstan market was dominated by large private and state-owned holdings that tended to rely on quantity rather than product quality.

“In order to compete in the international market, El Grano decided it needed to focus on quality, not just quantity. It set out to cater to customers with high demands and to offer made-to-measure solutions … which needed a facility with flexibility in operations and the ability to extend storage capacity in the future.”