Canadian Biomass Magazine

Personalized solutions for the biomass industry

May 26, 2016
By Astec Bulk Handling Solutions

May 26, 2016 - It is without doubt that the energy sector has undergone some transformation in the last number years with increasingly restrictive legislative measures and associated fluctuations in demand for certain fuel sources. The industry has been forced to pursue alternative fuel sources and when the demand for certain biomass products increased as an alternative energy source, it took with it a new set of challenges and a greater emphasis on the material quality and environmental regulations. 

Astec Bulk Handling Solutions (ABHS), a subsidiary of Astec Industries, has extensive experience in the handling of specialist dry bulk products around the world. ABHS offer a wide range of products including mobile and static truck unloaders and mobile telescopic/cambered boom ship and barge loaders and unloaders designed to handle specialist products, such as wood pellets and wood chips. 

“There are many considerations when handling biomass products,” explains Conor Brogan, technical sales manager for Astec Bulk Handling Solutions. “In the case of wood pellets, for example, degradation of material at transfer points can often compromise the composition and size of the product, which could in effect reduce the selling price per ton. We understand the need to reduce the number of times the product should be handled.”

Minimal double handling of material and material degradation
The truck unloaders and telescopic/cambered boom ship/barge loaders range from ABHS are perfect for this type of application. The reduction in the number of times that the product is handled is imperative in order to maintain the sizing of the product but also to avoid contamination. The ABHS range ensures that there is minimal double handling of material, hence minimal material degradation. This all needs to be considered when outlining the specification of handling a biomass product.

The fact that the units are also mobile ensures flexibility of use. The mobile nature ensures that less is required in terms of planning/environmental requirements as well as reduced set up costs. The systems are easy to operate and maintain and are multi-purpose in that they can be used to stockpile in a warehouse or stockyard when not feeding the ship loader. ABHS also offer electrical options for full anti-explosion compliance as well as a full range of dust containment measures to address products with the potential for highly explosive airborne particles. Integrated dust extraction and fully sealed conveyors are options often selected for these applications.


The telescopic and cambered boom ship/barge loading range offer fully customized transfer and discharge points for ‘soft loading’  of material. The low angle of discharge and low impact force on the belt limits the degradation of the pellets. The telescopic cascade chute option also minimizes impact and regulates the flow of material at the discharge point into the vessel helping to reduce degradation. The ABHS products are fully customizable to suit the customer’s current infrastructure and can be integrated with existing and new fixed systems.

“Our success is in providing customizable, reliable and responsible products that ensure excellent production rates but have the design features incorporated to ensure the composition of the material,” says Brogan. “Our success is working with the customer and understanding where extra care and attention is needed throughout the process from producer to port. We design bespoke systems – no two projects are the same and we don’t apply a broad brush approach. We work with the customer and build in design features specific to that job and it is one of the reasons why we continue to win reoccurring contracts across the globe. Part of this process, often involves visits to the customer’s site, meeting their operational team and then making a proposal which can often have a number of revisions before a final proposal is agreed.”

As part of the Astec Industries group of companies, ABHS demonstrate the same enthusiasm to apply creative thinking and state of the art technology in order to delight each and every customer. To hear more about how ABHS has increased productivity, accuracy, flexibility and efficiency in projects spanning the globe, visit

ABHS Bulk Handling Solutions for the BioEnergy Industry
Astec Bulk Handling Solutions is part of the Astec family of companies. Astec Industries a NASDAQ listed U.S. corporation based in Chattanooga, Tenn., has a turnover of $1 billion. Being part of the Astec Industries family of Companies ensures that ABHS delivers around the clock service, around the world. For more information on Astec Bulk Handling Solutions, contact Conor Brogan, technical sales manager at 1-541-735-0748 or email

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