MASON CITY — Construction is underway on the world’s largest freestanding grain bin that will be located in Mason City. Sukup Manufacturing of Sheffield has designed the 165-foot bin that will have a capacity of up to 2.2 million bushels for the Golden Grain Energy ethanol production plant.
Sukup Manufacturing president and CEO Steve Sukup tells KGLO News that the bin is large enough to hold a 767 jet. “For the ethanol plants for them to be able to bring in grain, they’re marketing also. They want to bring in the grain as soon as possible at the price they like, so it gives them a lot of opportunities throughout the year to be more efficient with their ethanol.”
Golden Grain CEO Chad Kuhlers says the bigger grain bin will increase their total storage capacity from about 1.275 million bushels to almost 3.5 million bushels. “In addition to this grain bin, we are also putting in additional corn dumping capability so that we can receive a little bit faster. Our goal is to be able to increase our amount of storage on site from approximately nine days of production all the way up to 30 days of production.”
Kuhlers says the increased storage capacity can help with production around holidays and other times when corn can’t be delivered. “You’ve got a holiday that happens at Christmas and a holiday that happens on New Year’s. This year both of them are on Friday. That means you are taking off those two days. In addition a lot of people don’t want to deliver corn that week in between the two holidays. That means you’ve got an extra day, you’ve got seven days, and you’ve got to basically receive essentially all the corn if you were completely full to completely empty in three days in between those two holidays. Heaven forbid there is a snowstorm or other event that would prevent us from receiving corn during that time, otherwise you’re going to be scraping the bottom of the barrel to keep the plant operational.”
Construction on the bin is scheduled to be completed in May or June of next year.