DULUTH, MINN. — The Hansen-Mueller Co. has acquired General Mills Elevator A in Duluth, Minn. The facility, which has been inactive since 2015, becomes the second Hansen-Mueller-owned grain complex in the Twin Ports, joining the Daisy Elevator and Elevator M complex in Superior, Wis.
The elevator originally was constructed as a wooden elevator in 1894. In 1908, Consolidated Elevator Co. replaced the wooden elevator with a structure built of ceramic tile, brick and concrete. General Mills acquired the elevator from Consolidated in 1943, modernized it in the 1970s and operated it until 2015. Today, the facility stands 185 feet above the harbor in the northern end of Rice’s Point in Duluth. The elevator has 3.5 million bus of storage capacity and features a 1,900-foot dock with a slip depth of 28 feet and on-dock rail service from BNSF railway.
Hansen-Mueller said it plans to bring the facility back into operation in time for the 2022 harvest season. The company said it plans to import and export primarily small grains grown in the United States and Canada to domestic and foreign destinations.
“The facility fits our portfolio very well and will complement our import and export program, as well as our interior grain assets and processing plants,” said Paul Johnson, vice president and chief operating officer of Hansen-Mueller. “We are excited to grow our business in the Port of Duluth-Superior and bring new business onto the St. Lawrence Seaway.”
The Duluth Seaway Port Authority expects the reactivation of the elevator to generate added revenues and increase grain tonnage through the Port of Duluth-Superior.
“Elevator A is a valuable asset in our port, with its grain-handling capacity, excellent road and rail connections, plus a long, solid, Seaway-depth dock for ships, and we’re excited for its potential,” said Kate Ferguson, director of trade and business development at the Duluth Seaway Port Authority. “We’ve been looking for the right match to put that asset back into active use, and Hansen-Mueller proved to be that match. It was a process working together with Hansen-Mueller, General Mills and BNSF, which owns the land on which the elevator is built, and we’re appreciative of everyone’s efforts that brought us to this exciting announcement for Hansen-Mueller, the Port of Duluth-Superior and the Duluth Seaway Port Authority.”
A family-owned business founded in 1979, Hansen-Mueller owns or operates approximately 14 facilities nationwide, including 3 port locations and 3 mills, in addition to its grain storage facilities. The company provides grain merchandising and logistics, commodity trading and feed processing products to customers across the Midwest and throughout the world.