Villa Poma: Südzucker Sugar Logistics Terminal in Italy Operational Image

Villa Poma: Südzucker Sugar Logistics Terminal in Italy Operational

On Friday, November 10th, the new state of the art bulk sugar logistics terminal in Villa Poma, near Mantua, Italy, has been officially inaugurated. Now the Südzucker beet campaign soon ends and the silos in Villa Poma have been filled.

Together with our long-term partner in Italy, the family-run agricultural trading and logistics company BORSARI E. & C. SRL and MAXI S.R.L. (an Italian Joint Venture Company of Südzucker Group and Podini Holding) the construction of this terminal has been finished in a record time of only 18 months since the start in January 2022. The subsequent operational management of the silo is in the hands of Südzucker AG’s long-standing joint venture partner, Maxi SRL based in Bolzano.

Now that the 2023/24 beet campaign is nearing its end, let’s take a closer look at what this site represents:

This future-oriented logistics terminal in Villa Poma, between Mantua and Modena, is located on the premises of our partner Borsari E. & C. SRL on an area of over 22,500 m², with its own railway connection to Poggio Rusco station (MN) and over 4.3 km of tracks. There are already 38 silos here for grain, seeds, flours and sugar beet pellets, to which the four new sugar silos and a silo-truck loading area have been added.

Each of the four silos contains a separate quality of sugar that specifically meets the needs of the Italian market. After their journey over the Brenner Pass and before each unloading, the VTG wagons, which are specially designed for sugar transport, are subjected to a dry pre-cleaning process, which involves blowing off the entire circumference of each individual wagon at high pressure to remove moisture or adhering foreign bodies.

The wagons are then weighed both full and empty using a weighbridge and the data is transferred to the fully automated merchandise management system.

The wagons are unloaded laterally by gravity by opening the four unloading slides of the wagons and allowing the sugar to fall into the underground unloading bunker with its five funnels.

The sugar is delivered to customers on demand using lorries. Four parallel loading lines are available for this purpose. The goods are transported via the main silos to the four pre-loading bunkers after which the trucks can then be loaded. The sugar first passes through the foreign body management system in the form of sieves, magnets, metal separators and an automatic sampler.

All in all filling a truck takes approx. 45 minutes, with the hygienic inspection of the trucks, weighing and the fully automatic creation of the delivery documents, each truck requires a time window of approx. one hour.

The Villa Poma sugar silo is logistically self-sufficient, both in terms of the three tracks for the railway connection and the separate entrances and exits for the sugar lorries. The major logistical advantage is that the “last mile” of the wagons can be carried out using the company’s own electric locomotive, so there is no need to rely on external service providers for shunting work.

This doesn’t mark the end of this project, though, it is just the first step!

In 2024, the focus will be on completing the directly adjacent logistics hall, which has an area of approx. 3,200 m² and will be home to two sugar packaging lines in the future. The packaging line will be filled directly from the four Villa Poma storage silos and will therefore be characterized by short transport routes and infrastructure.

While the grain facilities of Borsari E. & -C. SRL’s are already powered 100% by green electricity from the existing photovoltaic systems, this approach is still on the agenda of the three partners concerning the sugar logistics hall. In the next step, the roof areas of the logistics hall are also to be equipped with photovoltaic systems, so we aim to work with green electricity in a climate-neutral way here too.

Thus, we will be able to serve the Italian market in a future-oriented, more sustainable fashion from the just concluded sugar beet campaign onwards.

A big THANK YOU to everybody involved, making that project reality and helping it progress every single step of the way.

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