Argentina Bunge facility shut down after silo collapse: trade

2 Aug 2021 | Tim Worledge

An accident at a Bunge facility in Argentina’s Up River hub has led to suspension of activity and fears of injuries at one of the group’s main processing sites in the country, according to multiple trade sources.

The facility, thought to be the Puerto General San Martin (PGSM) industrial complex, was reported to have suffered the collapse of a silo earlier today, leading to reports of injuries among workers.

Maritime sources say the accident has not affected berths or loading operations at the facility, but the terminal has been shut down.

“It happened earlier today. I don’t have much info yet, but one person was transferred to hospital… the accident was in a big silo,” one source said, with other sources identifying the Pampa and Dempa terminals that make up part of the complex had been affected.

The facility is identified on the Bunge Argentina corporate website as a crushing plant, port terminal, and storage plant handling grains, meals and oils.

At full capacity, the crusher can handle 8,000 mt of soybeans a day, and offers 530,000 mt of storage, split between 370,000 mt of grains and 160,000 mt of by-products.

The facility can also store 48,000 mt of soyoil and has a soybean refining capacity of 500 mt per day, while its two berths are able to handle 3,000 mt loading per hour.  

Agricensus contacted Bunge for comment, but no reply had been received at time of publication.

The company, one of the so-called ABCD quartet alongside ADM, Cargill and Loius Dreyfus, is headquartered in Missouri in the United States, but has extensive opreations across South America.

Argentina's Up River hub is home to a significant portion of the country's crush and export capacity, but the primary river - the Parana - has suffered extreme low water levels in recent weeks, cutting its export capacity and slowing operations.