Antwerp is the absolute sugar port and Euroports plays an important role in this. The company invested in its sugar terminal to be able to respond to the expected growth of its customers in the years to come. The storage and handling capacities were greatly expanded in order to further increase the quality of the handling of goods. With a handling capacity of 635,000 tonnes per year, Euroports is now the largest sugar terminal in Europe. To double the screening capacity, Euroports called in Lybover BULK.
The group handles more than 50 million tonnes of dry bulk and general cargo annually and has 26 terminals in Europe and Asia. In 2017, the company carried out a major upgrade of its terminal in Antwerp. This included new unloading pits for trucks. An unloading station for train wagons and investments in metal detection and screening were made to guarantee the quality of the sugar. The terminal also has a licensed lab for quality control and uses the latest IT systems to monitor the products.
Combination of bulk transport and storage solutions
Lybover BULK designed and installed a customised solution for transport and storage in the terminal. After all, the sugar travels a long way from the initial unloading until the product leaves the terminal again.
The sugar is delivered in trucks or railway wagons and, after unloading, is transported from the sugar building to the bagging building on a conveyor belt and dumped on an elevator. This conveyor belt is 1,200 mm wide and can transport 600 tonnes of sugar per hour, double the capacity of the old conveyor belt. In the design of the conveyors, extra attention was paid to spillage control.
Afterwards, the sugar is transported via another conveyor belt to a distribution valve. This valve divides the product flow over two Spaleck sieves. The function of these two sieves is to remove large lumps and contamination from the sugar. The flip-flow sieves consist of double-deck sieves where the large material fractions up to 10 mm are separated at the top and the smaller fractions up to 3 mm at the bottom. The Spaleck sieves consist of a dynamic frame, a fixed frame and sieve mats. The relative movement of both frames with respect to each other causes a so-called “trampoline effect” of the screening mats. The advantage of this is that the product does not stick to the mats and a high acceleration force of up to 50 g is possible on the sieve mats.
Then the sugar enters two flow-through magnets to extract the iron. Finally, the product is transported back to the sugar building on conveyor belts. The pure sugar is stored. The oversize that was removed by the sieves ends up in a big bag filling station. When the sugar is collected, it goes through the installation again and is then loaded directly into a lorry or railway wagon or into big bags or 50 kg bags. In other words, the pure sugar goes through the process twice to ensure that there is no contamination in the sugar. The installation is fully designed according to the food standard CE 1935/2004 and in compliance with the ATEX 114 directive. Every part of the installation that comes into contact with the product is made of stainless steel.
Tight deadlines and minimal production downtime
The entire project was designed, engineered and worked out by Project Engineer Wannes Vergote (layout, structures, determining the position of the filter, etc.). In addition, Lybover INSTALLATION took care of a quick and high-quality assembly. The new screening plant was installed on the top floor of the bagging building. This building is in total 36 metres high. Coordination of the assembly was very important. All components of the installation were brought in by tower crane through a hole in the roof. A 300-tonne crane was used for the sieves and the roof extension, and the mast of the crane was extended by 70 metres. The new plant is located, for the most part, next to the existing production hall. In the first phase, it was fully assembled, so that production downtime was kept to a minimum. In the second phase, the old screening plant was dismantled and the connection made to the new screening plant. This limited the downtime to a few weeks.