DESIGN/BUILD BULK MATERIAL TRANSFER TERMINALS
Dry bulk material commodities such as cement, lime, and sand need to be distributed to end
users as inexpensively as possible. The manufacturer’s distribution network consists of:
- Load-out system from the manufacturing point to marine or rail transport,
- terminals to receive and store bulk shipments; and
- loading the product to the customer truck tankers.
Safe, rapid, no-spill, no-dusting unloading of bulk rail car shipments into product storage and
again from storage to customer’s transport is important for efficient logistics.
The two primary concerns of the owner are the cost and schedule to build the transfer terminals
to increase market penetration. PENTA has designed, constructed and commissioned low-cost
distribution terminals with compressed schedules. Standardized designs and pre-fabricated
systems significantly reduce engineering and procurement time allowing more efficient
construction times. One such system is the pre-fabricated “PENTA PIT”, a high-speed rail
unloading system that has successfully reduced costs and expedited construction schedules for
many terminal projects. To learn more about PENTA’s modular designs, please go to
PENTA works closely with customers to provide design/build terminals to optimally fulfill project
success. Our services have included ship-to-storage and rail-to storage solutions. For more
information about our projects, please go to http://penta.net/projects/.
FEASIBILITY STUDIES AND CAPEX
Every project should begin with a feasibility study to evaluate potential terminal sites, storage
arrangements, and logistics. The Owner’s input on equipment preferences is used as a basis
for pricing and the design focuses on safe ease of equipment access and serviceability for
maintenance and operation. The selection of conveying and transfer equipment and product
storage design has significant impact on engineering and procurement cost and schedule. It is
also important to select the optimum foundation design with the collaboration of a geotechnical
Once the terminal site is selected and the product storage and material handling equipment
defined, a formal design-build project delivery offer can be developed. In the design-build
approach, a total engineering, equipment supply, construction and facility commissioning
package is offered with single point responsibility.
Transfer Terminal 1
PENTA recently completed a Greenfield cement distribution terminal in Fort Worth, Texas, on a
The client’s planned throughput and the market conditions required a system designed to have
two truck load-out spouts under two drive-through steel bins to load two trucks simultaneously.
To accommodate maintenance shutdown of one of the silos, the material can be conveyed from
either of the silos to both load-out spouts.
The terminal consists of PENTA’s proprietary rail unloading system to transfer cement from the
railcars to the bins. A rail shed was installed for weather protection. In addition, six-inch blow-
off lines are provided to allow cement trucks to unload to either of the silos.
Due to stringent regulatory emissions requirements, dust collection was carefully sized and
integrated within the system to control emissions. Truck loading was carried out through an
aerated bin bottom and dustless loading spouts.
The system is fully-automated and the control room is in an office where the operator has a
clear view of the loading process through strategically-placed cameras. The office is designed to
accommodate the needs of the truck drivers and the terminal operating staff.
Transfer Terminal 2
PENTA was tasked to build a fast-track solution for bulk rail transport and road tanker deliveries
in Montana, near the North Dakota border to service the oil fields. PENTA designed, procured
and constructed a secondary rail-to-truck loading system while the main terminal was under
construction. The secondary system, including rail car unloading, truck loading, truck scale,
operator’s station and new rail siding was completed and fully operational within 3.5 months.
Power and compressed air supply needs were met with portable systems configured by PENTA.
The main terminal consisting of rail car unloading, bulk storage, office/control building and truck
loading system was completed within 10 months using extensive prefabrication and modular
designs. The secondary system now handles alternate materials and can be used as a backup.
Transfer Terminal 3
PENTA needed to supply a fast-track approach for an owner to receive bulk cement shipments
via rail and load customer tanker trucks in Alexandria, Louisiana. PENTA designed, procured
and constructed a secondary rail-to-truck loading system while a main terminal was under
construction. The secondary system, including new rail siding, main substation, compressor
station, rail car unloading, truck loading, truck scale and operators station was completed and
fully operational within 4 months. The main cement terminal comprised rail siding modifications,
rail car unloading, bulk storage, office/control building and truck loading system and was
completed within 6 additional months using extensive prefabrication and modular designs.