EGYPT – General Company for Silos and Storage (GCSS), Egypt’s state-owned manufacturer, trader and distributor of grains has inked a US$33 million deal with Rowad Modern Engineering for the construction of a grain silo in the west of the city of Port- Said.
The new facility, with a storage capacity of 100,000 tonnes of grain is aimed to improve port storage of cargoes of wheat, the main staple food purchased by the country, reports Agence Ecofin.
The storage unit will come in handy given that Egypt is a net importer of most grains.
According to a recent Gain report by USDA, the country is set to import 13.2 MMT of wheat in 2020/21. This is aimed to meet the local demand of 20.4 MMT, partially offset by local production of 9 MMT.
The country’s local rice demand is set at 4.3 MMT against local production of 4.0 MMT, which will lead to importation of 300,000 MT of rice during the period.
Meanwhile its corn imports are forecasted to be 10.3 MMT, supplementing local production of 6.4 MMT to meet demand of 16.9 MMT.
The rise in import needs in the country has led to increased investment in the expansion of storage facilities and the search for other sites to reduce the pressure on the ports of Damietta and Alexandria, main entry points for goods.
In August, local firm Roots Commodities and Emirati company Rosa Grain, signed a contract agreement with the Egyptian government to build an EGP 2.2 billion (US$140m) bulk grain terminal in East Port Said, at the northern end of the Suez Canal on the Mediterranean Sea.
This dedicated terminal will be set up on an area of 267,000 square meters and will have a capacity of handling between 1.5 million tonnes (MMT) to 7.2 million tonnes (MMT) of grains per year.
Egypt automates wheat silos
Further streamlining operations at the storage areas, the Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade represented by the Egyptian Holding Company for Silos and Storage (EHCSS), recently partnered with multinational technology corporation, IBM and Egypt based integrator of technological systems, ACME SAICO to automate 22 wheat silos across the country.
The storage units will be powered by IBM’s AI-powered automation software in a hybrid cloud environment.
Using IBM Cloud Pak for Business Automation and IBM Cloud Pak for Integration, the new solution will allow full automation and governance of all the steps of shipping, transport, storage, and supply of the wheat silos.
Through this advanced technology, the automated platform is engineered to collect data from different sensors that are embedded in the silos.
These sensors will send near real-time quantitative analytics of the wheat supply and stock status to the main platform at the Ministry of Supply.
Thus, the EHCSS will be able to monitor and store all information related to the incoming shipments to maintain quality standards, report accurate views of the stock in silos, as well as address leakage in wheat silos extensively.
The system is also designed to help to better manage the communication and coordination between different storage points, and mills.