Kepler Weber group, from Rio Grande do Sul, is going to supply equipment for soy storage for an oil extracting and refining complex, to be built in the city of Homs, 100 kilometers away from Damascus, Syria.
The US$ 1.44 million contract was signed with company Middle East Factories Vegetable Oil Co, belonging to Syrian group Akharas.
The complex will have four silos, each with a capacity for the storage of 10,000 tons of grain. The product flow will be 300 tons/hour. Middle East is a large importer and exporter of agricultural commodities. The company also has a highway transport company to supply the markets in Syria and Iraq.
Kepler Weber won the tender that included another three companies from Europe. “Our greatest differential was the high technology. We developed plates that have special galvanization, 470 grams per square centimeter, to make the equipment more resistant to high temperatures and to the desert erosion, and, consequently, may have a longer working life,” explained the president of Kepler Weber, Othon D’ Eça Cals de Abreu.
According to him, the concept of offering a turn-key solution to the client, aligned to the technically well-planned design, were decisive factors in the choice. The equipment should be shipped between the months of July and August. The forecast for start-up of the complex is November 2005.
This will be the first Kepler contract in Syria, but not in the Middle East. In 2003, the company signed a contract for the construction of a grain complex in Jabel Ali port, in the United Arab Emirates.
The US$ 3.2 million deal was signed with Arab company Edible Oil Company. According to the president of Kepler, the structure is currently at the final phase of construction and should be inaugurated within the next 30 days.
The complex in the Emirates will have the capacity for storage of 60,000 tons in six metal silos, with transporters for receipt of soy at the port, located around 35 kilometers away from the city of Dubai. The offloading flow will be 600 tons/hour and transporters for vessel loading will be 400 tons/hour, for soy chaff.
The contract also includes transporters for supply of the oil plant, which has a crushing capacity of 2,000 tons of soy per day, as well as transporters for loading and unloading of the soy chaff silo. Kepler Weber supplied all the electric equipment with (PLC) automation, run by a center.
“Dubai worked as an important window to the vast potential of the Middle East, with repercussion in all the Arab countries,” stated Abreu.
Last year, Kepler Weber established a grain complex in Turkey, for Bunge Gida Ticaret, which belongs to Bunge Limited, considered the largest soy-crushing group in the world. In this case, the largest challenge for Kepler was planning the equipment so that it could survive earthquakes at areas of high risk, and the calculations had to be submitted for approval by Turkish authorities.
The unit was installed in Derinci to receive soy and soy chaff, and the transport capacity is 600 tons of soy per hour and 250 tons of chaff per hour.
Kepler Weber will be celebrating its 80th anniversary in 2005. The company, which generates 2,532 direct jobs and had revenues of US$ 177 million in 2004 (in current figures), has offices in all the Latin American countries, in South Africa and Singapore. In Latin America alone there are 18 commercial representatives.
Commercial service to customers is through a chain of branches throughout the Brazilian territory and through foreign representatives.
The industrial parks are located in the cities of Panambi (in Rio Grande do Sul), in Bauru (in São Paulo state, in southeastern Brazil) and in Campo Grande (in the Midwestern state of Mato Grosso), which has been in operation since November 2004.
The new unit, in Campo Grande, which demanded investment of around US$ 35 million, is going to permit great growth in the production of equipment for grain storage.
“Starting in 2006, when this new unit (Campo Grande) is in full operation, the company is going to double its productive capacity,” stated Abreu. Nowadays Kepler Weber transforms 50,000 tons of steel per year.
ANBA – Brazil-Arab News Agency