Renewing Our Infrastructure
Dec 20, 2019
Recognizing the importance of speed and space allows MKC to keep pace with the growing needs of the producer. MKC has made significant asset investments in the past decade to better serve customers bringing their crops to MKC elevators.
“We’ve shown and continue to show that we are committed to reinvesting in our infrastructure,” said Erik Lange, MKC executive vice president and COO. “We’ve added a lot of speed and space strategically in certain areas and we are going to continue to do that to meet the demands of the farmer-owners.”
Construction of three new concrete bins began in Moundridge in June 2019, providing a total of 1.2 million bushels of additional storage. Located just north of the administrative offices, this location previously included an outdated dry shed, maintenance shop and service station. The expansion includes a 1,200-bushel dump pit and a 20,000 bushels per hour leg and receiving equipment. A bi-directional drag will be installed to take grain to and from the existing elevator and a new 5,000-bushel overhead load-out bin will be added. All new and existing grain facilities at Moundridge will have a hazard monitoring system device installed to enhance grain elevator safety by providing real-time feedback from a network of sensors installed on a range of machinery such as belt conveyors, bucket elevators, drag conveyors, fans, blowers and more. The concrete from the previous infrastructure was crushed and hauled back to the site for fill and road base. The project is expected to be completed by June 1, 2020.
The construction in Moundridge also includes a new training center for safety and maintenance. The new center will provide a site to train employees and farmers and will include simulated items for hands-on training along with classroom learning.
Ahead of fall harvest, the bunker assets at Plains were rebuilt to consist of three bunkers that were re-elevated and lifted out of water to eliminate risks. This storage consists of two round bunkers with 150,000 bushels of storage space each, in addition to a long 1.1-million-bushel bunker. Following the merger with Plains Equity and Exchange in June 2019, a complete safety sweep was conducted to bring the facility within OSHA compliance.
A 25,000 bushel per hour Lemar conveyor was purchased and delivered to Hobart during fall harvest to fill the new bunker following the merger of Plains Equity Exchange and Cooperative Union
At the Kismet bunker site, new roads were constructed and a new scale and portable office were put in place. The area was picked up to improve the image and areas of the elevator were improved to meet safety compliance.
Through the merger of Plains Equity Exchange, the Wildhorse facility was added to MKC. This bunker site contains four bunkers holding 3.3 million bushels. Prior to fall harvest, MKC added an additional raised pad for milo storage and reassembled salvaged conveyors to be a main source of harvest receipts for producers. The site was also picked up to improve the image of the grain storage location.
Prior to the merger with MKC in 2014, Farmers Cooperative Association of Manhattan constructed a bunker at the Alta Vista location. In the summer of 2019, MKC added cement stabilization to the pad and stabilized the underlying soils to improve the longevity of the bunker site.
In August 2019, a 1.8-million-bushel bunker was completed. A new global conveyor was purchased to unload at 30,000 bushels per hour, in addition to a second bunker consisting of 800,000 bushels was constructed to hold milo. This new construction brings the total bushel storage to 4.8 million bushels at
MKC continues to look for and evaluate the next round of projects in addition to evaluating existing facility upgrades and potential green field sites for all grain, feed, agronomy and energy needs.