Mechanical & Electrical phase underway at Silo 4, Port of Tilbury Grain Terminal

24th July 2023


As a direct result of the July 2020 dust explosion & fire within the concrete grain silos, the damaged block of silos was demolished in readiness for its replacement.  Having been selected as the Main Contractor for the project, Careys, a specialist civil engineering contractor, has made excellent progress in the design & construction of the new format concrete silo arrangement alongside the river Thames.  T H WHITE Projects of Devizes, Wiltshire was appointed in the role as the Mechanical & Electrical sub-contractor for the associated scope of works.

The phased construction will see the mechanical & electrical installation of plant & equipment to the latest design standards having a clear focus on personnel safety, ATEX/DSEAR, operational interface & maintenance within a tight logistical project footprint.

Port of Tilbury side elevation with roof level worksIt will result in silo block No 4 having the ability to automatically fill & discharge the silos at 700tph & 650tph respectively whilst interfacing with the new steel silo No 3 complex & transfer reclaim system recently installed and commissioned by T H WHITE Projects.

The rebuild of the Tilbury Grain Terminal includes a quantity of 30 hopper bottomed concrete silos constructed in 3 rows of 10 square profiled cells, utilising slip form technology to produce the new silo block with 15 silo cells in each phase of the works.  Equipping these silos will involve the roof top area being populated with sets of explosion relief panels, radar level detection and temperature monitoring on each enclosed silo cell, whilst displaced air extraction with all dust going to an external ground floor receiving location where it will go through a briquetting process before being transferred into a removable container within a clad steel framed enclosure.

Steel preparation at the plant entrance of Port of TilburyThe filling of the silos via dedicated motorised slides and heavy duty lined chutes is undertaken by 4 large distribution chain conveyors installed on high level fabricated steelwork, wide operating gantries & access platforms throughout.  Underneath the silos and receiving grain from the concrete hopper outlet bunker slides are 10 two-way feeder chain conveyors plus 2 long collecting chain conveyors which operate along the full length of the basement area feeding the grains back into the terminal head house elevators.  Electrical installation activities and software interface with the main grain terminal controls will also be underway on a tandem basis, in line with the scheduled two-phase programme.

Under silo cross conveyors and support pillars Based in the Southeast of England, located on the banks of the River Thames, the Grain Terminal handles approximately 2 million tonnes of cereals, pulses & beans per annum and was initially built in the 1960s.  It plays a significant role throughout the global market in ensuring the food chain is reliably supported and supplied with on time quality materials.  The construction of the replacement concrete grain silos will be the first of its kind within a UK Port since the early 1980’s and represents a key milestone for the Port of Tilbury London Ltd and its ongoing operation.  The aim being to rebuild the terminal back to its original functionality as the largest import & export operation in the UK, which is currently scheduled to be fully completed, commissioned & handed over to the Port of Tilbury London Ltd early in 2024.

Further updates on progress, interface & supporting project photographs will be released by the teams involved at Careys and T H WHITE Projects in due course.

T H WHITE PROJECTS specialises in Agri Food dry bulk processing & storage solutions in small to large commercial/industrial facilities, taking each project from conception to completion. If you have a scheme you would like to talk about, please do contact us on 01380 723040 or email  Visit for more information.