New Export Terminal Really Moves Soybeans

Inside Dakota Ag

After visiting a export grain terminal, I'll never look at a field of soybeans in North Dakota or South Dakota the same way.

Published on: July 17, 2013

I enjoyed traveling to Seattle, Wash., recently with the North Dakota Soybean Council.

We visited EGT, a new export grain terminal in Longview, Wash., built by Bunge and partners from Japan and South Korea.

The terminal is a marvel. I was most impressed by the capacity and unloading speed. EGT can unload a shuttle train in  five to six hours and can handle six 110-car shuttle trains at any given time without decoupling the locomotives. There’s room at the terminal for 14 trains at one time. When a shuttle is unloading, it never stops, but moves over the dump pit at about one-third mile per hour. Robots open and close the shuttle car gates, and unloading augers with 1,000-hp motors carry soybeans away on a 6-foot-wide air conveyor.

Jerry Gibson (center), EGT facility manager, talks with Jeff Olson (left) and Dallas Loff (right), both from Colfax, N.D., about how their beans on loaded on ships bound for China and Japan.
Jerry Gibson (center), EGT facility manager, talks with Jeff Olson (left) and Dallas Loff (right), both from Colfax, N.D., about how their beans on loaded on ships bound for China and Japan.

The whole soybeans handled by EGT almost exclusively come from North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota.

 “You are in the sweet spot” for exporting soybeans to the growing Chinese market, EGT Facility Manager Jerry Gibson told the North Dakota farmers on the trip.

North Dakota and South Dakota are closer to the PNW ports than any other growing region, and the PNW is closer to China than ports on the Gulf of Mexico.

I’ll never look at a field of soybeans in North Dakota or South Dakota the same way again.

To learn more about EGT, see www.egtgrain.com