King visits horizontal bunker silos for grain storage at Ghabawi built to enhance food security

28 July 2019

His Majesty King Abdullah on Sunday visited the Ghabawi horizontal bunker silos, which were built upon His Majesty’s directives to enhance food security in the Kingdom, especially strategic wheat reserves.

King Abdullah was briefed on the mechanisms used for grain storage, which are in accordance with best international and scientific standards and ensure grain safety.

The silos were built jointly by the government, the Royal Engineering Directorate of the Royal Hashemite Court, and the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army.

His Majesty was briefed by project personnel on the stages of construction and storage capacity of the new silos, as well as the procedures followed to maintain the quality of stored grain.

Minister of Industry, Trade, and Supply Tariq Hammouri said the storage capacity of the Ghabawi bunker silos is currently at 350,000 tonnes, adding that horizontal silos have also been set up in Mafraq with the storage capacity of 160,000 tonnes.

The minister highlighted plans to establish horizontal bunker silos in Aqaba with the capacity of 150,000 tonnes as part of the project’s initial phase, noting that these silos will increase the total strategic storage capacity to cover a period of 9 months.

He added that the cost of building horizontal bunker silos does not exceed 5 per cent of the cost of building tower silos, as the Ghabawi and Mafraq horizontal silos cost about JD3.3 million, whereas traditional tower silos would cost over JD150 million.

According to the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Supply, the Kingdom consumes 80,000 tonnes of wheat every month, and 60,000 tonnes of barley.

Minister Hammouri pointed out that additional storage capacities within the horizontal silos can increase overall storage capacity by at least 46 per cent, with the possibility of further increases in the future.

This would enable the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Supply to buy wheat and grain when global prices are low, as well as continue to supply wheat mills with wheat in the event of an emergency, according to the minister.

The storage period of grains in horizontal bunker silos is higher than that of tower silos, and can last for a longer period, which is ideal for long-term strategic storage.

Acting Prime Minister Rajai Muasher, Royal Hashemite Court Chief Yousef Issawi, His Majesty’s Adviser for Communication and Coordination Bisher Khasawneh, His Majesty’s Adviser for Policies and Media Kemal Al Nasser, and Amman Mayor Yousef Shawarbeh accompanied His Majesty on the visit.