Avon-based Co-Alliance LLP says a northwest Indiana grain facility shut down last June by a major fire is expected to reopen in October. One worker died when an equipment malfunction sparked a fire than shut down the Union Mills operation in LaPorte County. April 14, 2014

News Release

UNION MILLS, Ind. – Co-Alliance, LLP announces its long-term solution for the reconstruction of its Union Mills grain facility. The initiative will increase the speed and efficiency of the facility and includes re-lining silos with concrete, repairing exterior concrete walls, building a 730,000 bushel bin, adding a new 25,000 bushel bin leg and pit, upgrading a rail load out leg and adding tunnel conveyors to unload bins.

Union Mills Grain Manager John Stark summarized, “After upgrades we will utilize the five silos on the east side of the concrete house for wet corn and some blending for rail load out. There will be a new leg and pit on the north side, and no grain legs inside the concrete house. These changes will allow us to increase speed of dumping and bin capacity while using the house less than we have in the past.”

Work will begin immediately with an estimated completion date scheduled for October 2014.

While developing the reconstruction plan, the company analyzed several options, from demolishing the old concrete house to keeping the house and working around it. Two engineering teams, one employed by Co-Alliance, LLP's insurance company and one independent group, inspected the facility and provided consistent, favorable reports regarding its repair. Both teams indicated that the facility could be used for over 30 years if concrete liners are installed in the four silos used for wet corn and rail load out.

President and CEO Kevin Still said, “Our key strategy for the reconstruction plan was to develop long-term, viable solutions to service our customers in Union Mills.”

After reviewing the assessments and recommendations, the Co-Alliance Board of Directors approved the plan.

For decades, the Union Mills facility has been an essential service provider in the region, with the high capacity elevator located on rail, and serving hundreds of LaPorte County farmers.

Co-Alliance, LLP is a 100 percent farmer-owned partnership of cooperative businesses. The company delivers agronomy, seed, animal health, nutrition, grain marketing services, power fuel and home heat energy products to thousands of local farms, businesses and families through branch outlets in Indiana, Ohio and Michigan. For more information about Co-Alliance, visit www.co-alliance.com.

Source: Co-Alliance LLP

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