Costs of bulk storage

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As a rough rule of thumb, the costs of modern bulk grain storage and handling facilities can be broken down roughly as follows:

Storage Component: 40 to 60%
Structures and Supports 10 to 20%
Mechanical Equipment 20 to 40%
Electrical and Controls 10 to 20%

Obviously, there are many instances where storage costs are much less than 40% - for instance in high throughput facilities where the 'storage' component is no more than a shortterm buffer to allow optimisation of the use of the handling equipment.

But in true 'storage' situations, where the purpose of the facility is to hold grain for an extended period of time, it is generally the case that the storage structures account for the largest component of the total cost. Thus it is normal practice to develop a design for a grain handling facility around the storage component; in other words to estimate the storage volume required, evaluate the type of store best suited to the requirements, and then to design the conveying and other systems to suit.

The cost of a store depends to such an extent on 'unit size' (i.e. the size of each individual bin or storage unit) and on locality (i.e. cost and availability of labour and materials), that the optimum solution for one given set of circumstances may be quite different to another. However as a rule of thumb, the following points may be helpful (based on 1992 costs):

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