An important intermediate stage of Tetra Pak processing equipment installation is nearing completion at EkoNiva’s cheese making plant (Maslyanino, Novosibirsk oblast), which is under construction now. By the beginning of January, 26 silos – milk storage tanks with a capacity varying from 100 m³ to 175 m³ – are to be erected there. The works are going full steam ahead – even the harsh Siberian winter cannot get in the way of the planned progress.
‘The dimensions of the biggest tank – 175 m³ – are 22.5 m in length and 3.6 m in diameter’, says Roman Denisevich, Director for Construction of the Maslyanino cheesery. ‘Besides, the tank weighs more than 22 tonnes. The installation of such vessels is a very complicated job as it involves parallel operation of 100-tonne and 200-tonne cranes.’
All the tanks are mounted on special stainless steel base rings, which are fixed in a monolithic foundation slab. It is followed by seam welding and installation of stairs, walkways and security fencing. All of this is necessary for further equipment maintenance.
‘In winter conditions, these construction activities require the arrangement of portable shelters and the foundation base heating’, continues Roman Denisevich. ‘More than 800 chemical anchors are already fixed. Welding of the tanks to the support rings is performed in strict compliance with the relevant technology. We check all the performed works for potential deviations in situ.’
By now, 19 milk storage silos have been put in the design position. Construction at this stage is progressing ahead of schedule.
‘The next milestone will be the erection of internal and partition walls in the main production facilities, the installation of a sewage system and the flooring’, explains Roman Denisevich. ‘The full completion of these extensive works is expected by early April. It’s crucial for proceeding to the site handover and the recommencement of Tetra Pak equipment installation.’
It is worth noting that the Maslyanino cheesery under construction is a flagship project in EkoNiva’s milk processing business. It will process 1,150 tonnes of milk per day, which makes half of the total gross dairy production in the Siberian region. The company will keep on offering its line-up of the traditional dairy products, namely ryazhenka, milk, butter, kefir, curds and yoghurts. However, there is more to come – several cheese varieties, which will be the major dairy manufactured at the plant. Apart from that, EkoNiva intends to get into the market with its own dry demineralised whey.
The start-up facility is to be launched in the last quarter of 2021, which will mark the beginning of dairy production – pasteurised milk, yoghurts and curds. And then the preparation of the first cheese wheels for ripening will get underway. Plans are afoot to finalise all the construction works in the spring of 2022 and operate the cheesery at full capacity by 2024.
The objective of the company is to supply most of the goods produced at the Maslyanino plant – about 70% – to the European regions of Russia and such promising markets as Central Asia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and China.
By Tatyana IGNATENKO