Dome Technology works on project for American Crystal Sugar Company

Construction is underway on a sugar storage dome for American Crystal Sugar Company.

Located in Montgomery, Illinois, tunnels are currently being formed for the dome, which will stand 134 feet tall and 183.7 feet in diameter and store 60,000 metric tons of sugar. American Crystal Sugar Company will own the facility; however, United Sugars Corporation will operate the facility and manage sales and distribution.

The dome will be equipped with mechanical systems providing a fill rate of 200 metric tons per hour and a reclaim rate of 150 metric tons per hour.

The dome will be a first for American Crystal Sugar Company, which to date has relied upon concrete silos and steel Weibull bins for storage. According to Aaron Bjerke, who oversees business development for American Crystal Sugar Company, the cost of constructing a dome versus concrete silos was equivalent per unit stored, but savings could be found in the material-handling systems. Because the company will be able to achieve its storage needs with one dome, just one handling system will be installed, as opposed to a redundant cost of one material-handling system per silo.

In addition to building the dome, Dome Technology is responsible for securing the reclaim screw, a clean-sweep model made of stainless steel to complement food-safe requirements. A food grade-quality coating will be sprayed on the entire inner dome shell; the applied VersaFlex product will be 60 millimeters thick and ensure cleanliness in storage.

The dome will also feature heat tracing in the walls, temperature and humidity control, a dust-collection system and dedicated explosion panels—the first American Crystal Sugar Company storage facility to include such panels, Bjerke said.

The entire site is scheduled to be operational Nov. 1, 2016. According to an American Crystal Sugar Company press release, the dome will not be attached to a producing sugar factory, making it the largest freestanding sugar storage facility in the United States.

In recent years Dome Technology has completed multiple domes for sugar companies, and perhaps “one of the most attractive reasons is because of the amount of sugar you can fit inside the dome and the ability to store such a large amount,” said Dome Technology sales manager James Stoker. “The ability to condition and keep the sugar in a stable condition is also attractive.”