July 18, 2017

19/07/2017: Flourmill of the future: One of the largest production plants on the African continent

Milling and Grain were pleased to be able to talk to Nuno Alegria, a representative of the project about the process and some of the challenges faced

There has been a breakthrough in Angola for milling via the design, construction and installation of a revolutionary mill to revitalise the local economy and sustainability of the country. The project is all about flour milling and associated silo storage, which are built directly into the plant. 

 

It is the brainchild of several partners including private companies and Governments, with the majority of the work undertaken by Grande Moagens d’Angola (GMA) who is already a major player within the wheat industry.

Mr Alegria was keen to stress that they are already investing in Angola and are made up from a consortium of Lebanese and Angolan investors. They can take advantage of the political benefits because both the Government and President of Angola support the project as a means of growth. This support was key in overcoming some of the hurdles the project faced.

GMA undertook this project as they already are established as a local company, with around 25 years experience and presence in the local market. They have a solid infrastructure with warehouses all over the country. They are also a trader in commodities, with wheat flour, rice, beans and sugar all in their portfolio.

Mr Alegria told us that, “The costs are so high to produce locally that it was cheaper to import.” This in turn, led to a stasis for the country, and the Government responded by raising import duty to protect and encourage local production.

The shareholders are a dynamic group and have tried since 2008 to facilitate a project like this, however a change in conditions and rising oil prices, led the Government to reach out to partners. As previously mentioned, the President was very involved, requiring monthly reports on the status of the build. This led to a lot of red tape that was consequently removed.

Previously imports could be held in customs for a period of 30 to 60 days with no real explanation of why, but with Government co-operation, waiting times were reduced to one week. Mr Alegria explained that they were “given the green-light” which eased logistic issues. The project took around 24 months to complete from the first plan to the finished mill.

In 2015 GMA signed a contract with Buhler, who assisted with their in-depth knowledge and expertise. In March 2015, the project partnered with Mota-Engil, a Portuguese company that specialised in construction and Ferrum shortly after to assist with the installation.

Then, SCE partnered on the recommendation of Buhler, who felt comfortable that they could deliver on the plans. SCE were responsible for the manufacturing, supply, and supervision of the project. GMA initially sent out several tenders simultaneously to speed up the process, and visited around June or July 2015 before selecting SCE.

GMA relied on SCE due to their professionalism and the numerous high-quality references worldwide. Initially on the site, which is around 30,000 square meters, there were some old buildings that needed to be cleared, and this commenced in July 2015. By September 2015, the first foundations were laid.

There were some challenges to surveying and setting the foundations, so the project had to use a stainless steel, galvanised structure to combat the environment and location being so close to the water of the port. The collective foundations of the concrete piles themselves were sunk much deeper than the typical depth of 26 meters.

Read the full article, HERE.
 

The Global Miller
This blog is maintained by The Global Miller staff and is supported by the magazine Milling and Grain
which is published by Perendale Publishers Limited.


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