Joining Forces

The merger of Bruks and Siwertell has created a global bulk material handling group focused on complete, specialized solutions for customers.
By Patrick C. Miller | December 04, 2018

In May, two of the biggest names in bulk material handling merged, creating a synergy between U.S., Asian and European wood pellet markets. JCE Group AB in Sweden and Cargotec Corp. in Finland signed a deal to create the Bruks Siwertell Group.

The newly formed company develops, manufactures and markets products and solutions globally for bulk terminals, ship unloaders, conveying systems, screening and size reduction. JCE owns 52 percent of Bruks Siwertell shares, and Cargotec owns 48 percent.

As Bruks Siwertell CEO Peter Jonsson points out, for many years, the two companies have served as industry leaders in the bulk handling market, with each company offering its own diversified equipment portfolio. The current industry climate and the potential for growth led to a discussion about a joint venture between Bruks and Siwertell, he says. “Both companies worked together to ensure the merger process was efficient and mutually beneficial.”

Following the merger, Per Karlsson, Siwertell president, remarks, "This is a true partnership between two strong brands, Siwertell and Bruks, as they complement each other very well both in terms of product portfolio and market coverage. Siwertell will benefit from Bruks' strong position in the U.S. market, whereas Bruks will gain access to Siwertell's Asian network, knowledge and exposure.”

Capitalizing On Asia
The new business arrangement is already paying off in Asian markets, Jonsson says. “Prior to the merger, the Bruks U.S. group was focused on exports. We were supporting the wood pellet producers by exporting their products,” he explains. “Siwertell was very involved in the import side. They had the equipment to offload the pellets coming into Europe.

“Now that we’re one unit, we’re capitalizing on both sides of the spectrum in the Asian market,” Jonsson continues. “We have several large utilities in Asia asking for our help on the unloading side. We’ve parlayed our relationship with customers here in the U.S. to introduce them to these utilities in Asia. In some cases, the U.S. pellet manufacturers didn’t know about these opportunities. We have brought them to the table, informing them that a particular utility is looking to import millions of tons of wood pellets. If they’re not talking to each other, we offer to make the introductions.”

Siwertell is an international supplier of ship unloaders, road-mobile unloaders, port-mobile unloaders, ship loaders, mechanical and pneumatic conveying systems and bulk terminal solutions. Most equipment is customized according to individual bulk operating requirements, but it also offers standardized products. Bruks is a global provider of mechanical-engineering and equipment supply for the bulk materials handling industries. The company provides specialized customer solutions, including the development of custom machines and systems. Its product portfolio offers a wide variety of customized solutions for the bulk materials handling industry.

“Capitalizing on their combined global market coverage enables both brands to extend their customer relations and create a wider geographic reach,” Jonsson says. “The joint venture between Bruks and Siwertell offers customers complete dry bulk terminal and sales bulk handling, as well as processing systems for wood yards, pellet plants, pulp and paper mills, saw mills and more. This dynamic new company also provides an extended service network to its customers worldwide.”

Combining Complementary Strengths
The core focus areas of each company complement one another with Siwertell having a solid presence throughout Europe and Asia, particularly with its unique screw-type ship unloader. Bruks maintains a strong presence in the Americas, with a complete product portfolio of solutions for conveying and storage, stacking and reclaiming, and its newly developed belt conveyer product.

“Bruks has a longstanding commitment to providing optimized solutions to the wood pellet industry,” Jonsson says. “The company designed a complete product line to handle timber in the forest and process excess materials at saw mills. Equipment includes hammer mills to create sawdust from wood chips, as well as products to produce, transport and store wood pellets.

“Siwertell's screw-type ship unloader is unique and efficient for handling wood pellets,” he continues. “The ship unloader is currently the only one on the market with the capacity to handle both coal and wood pellets on one machine. This is particularly innovative, as many power stations are transitioning from coal to wood pellets for energy production.”

Jonsson says the merger to create the Bruks Siwertell Group has resulted in a diverse business strategy focused on developing specialized solutions for customers. The group plans to grow its sea terminal business by providing complete sea terminals to feature ship loading and unloading, conveying, stacking, reclaiming and storage. “Siwertell's product line includes a unique ship unloader—undeniably the most efficient and environmentally friendly equipment to continuously unload ships on the market today,” Jonsson explains. “Coupled with Bruks conveying and dry bulk material storage solutions and strong product portfolios for ship loading, Bruks and Siwertell's joint venture will provide significantly more innovative solutions for its customer base.”

Thus far, Jonsson says, the Bruks Siwertell customer base has embraced the new brand. He believes the integration of the two companies has been seamless. As a result of the merger, the group is seeing new business and developing new leads worldwide. To date, Jonsson says Bruks Siwertell has an extensive list of prospects and has made several joint proposals that uses its combined product portfolio.

Although the number of large-scale wood pellet industry projects varies from year to year, Jonsson says the wood pellet market remains an important and significant part of Bruks Siwertell's business.

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Case Study at a Glance: Avedøre Power Station
Denmark-based Orsted’s two-unit power station in Avedøre, Copenhagen, was converted from coal to wood pellets and straw, beginning in 2016. Serving this multifuel demand is a Siwertell ST 790-M unloader. Under the terms of the turnkey contract with Dong Energy, Cargotec took full responsibility for the delivery of the Siwertell ship unloader, from the initial order until the plant was commercially operational.

The unloader was manufactured in Estonia, and delivered as a complete system on board a heavy lift vessel, direct to Avedøre. Following installation, testing and commissioning, the first wood pellets were unloaded within a few weeks of the unloader arriving. The fully-enclosed design results in minimal dust emissions, and spillage is completely eliminated, minimizing environmental impact and significantly reducing the risk of fire. The unloader can handle coal or pellets without any need for adjustment. Once unloaded, the cargo can be directed in multiple ways. The service agreement with Orsted provides a safe, economical and reliable operation of the Siwertell unloader, and covers call-out-based service including mechanical, instrumentations and electrical maintenance training, regular inspections checking the machine status and performance.


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Author: Patrick C. Miller
Staff Writer, Pellet Mill Magazine