architecture - engineering - construction

Brazil’s First Industrial Malt House Is Built On Penetron Waterproofing Technology


Production at the Maltaria Campos Gerais, Latin America’s largest malt house in Ponta Grossa, Paraná, in southern Brazil ramped up in May 2024. PENETRON ADMIX, a crystalline waterproofing admixture, was specified to waterproof the malt house’s concrete grain storage silos to keep the stored grains safe from any moisture penetrating the concrete.

Brazil’s First Industrial Malt House Is Built On Penetron Waterproofing Technology

The Central-South region of Paraná, a state in southern Brazil, is the largest barley producing region in the country, an important grain used in brewing beer and whiskey, and the production of certain foods. A malt house converts the grain into malt by soaking it in water, allowing it to sprout and then drying it to stop further growth. The new facility is also used to process soybeans for food applications.

With an investment of BRL 3 billion (USD 623 million), the Maltaria Campos Gerais project is led by the Cooperativa Agrária, a Brazilian agricultural-industrial cooperative, along with five other cooperatives from Paraná. Cooperativa Agrária is the largest malt producer in Latin America. Its leading product is Pilsen Malt, and after recent expansion, the cooperative also produces specialty malts such as Pale Ale, Vienna, and Munich, all made with 100% domestically sourced barley.

“This project is the first facility in Brazil to produce specialty malts, which were previously mostly imported. This is a notable boost for the domestic beer and food industries,” adds Cláudio Neves Ourives, CEO and Managing Partner of Penetron Brazil. “Initial production tests at the Maltaria Campos Gerais were successfully completed in November and December 2023 and the new plant is expected to process 240,000 tons of malt per year.”

The new malt house features towering concrete silos that store barley and soybeans in large volumes to meet its malt production capacity. The main challenge was to ensure these concrete grain storage structures would be completely waterproof to prevent the stored grain from coming in contact with any moisture from outside, which would damage the grains and promote the growth of bacteria and fungus.

“Last but certainly not least, potability of the waterproofing solution needed to be ensured as well. This required a solution that was completely non-toxic, as the concrete is in direct contact with the stored grain,” adds Cláudio Neves Ourives.

Thanks to the technical support by Penetron Brazil, the project engineers at Construtora Vieiro specified PENETRON ADMIX as the concrete waterproofing solution. The crystalline admixture was used for all concrete structures that come in contact with the grains to reduce the permeability of the concrete and promote the self-healing of passive cracks of up to 0.5 mm.

“Because PENETRON ADMIX-treated concrete contains no VOCs and is NSF-61 certified (a drinking water standard), it was the ideal solution for the grain storage silos of the Maltaria Campos Gerais,” adds Cláudio Neves Ourives. “The client’s positive feedback noted particular satisfaction with Penetron's admixture due to its performance, ease of use, and the on-site support from our team.”

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