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Dormant since 2015, Twin Ports grain elevator sold, will be used for season's harvest

A Nebraska firm purchased the elevator and will use it to import and export primarily small grains grown in the U.S. and Canada.

General Mills Elevator A.
General Mills Elevator A on Monday. The Hansen-Mueller Company recently bought the elevator, inactive since 2015.
Steve Kuchera / Duluth News Tribune
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DULUTH — Inactive since 2015, a major Duluth grain terminal has been sold and will be brought back into operation in time for the 2022 harvest season.

Nebraska-based Hansen-Mueller Co. recently finalized acquisition of General Mills Elevator A on Rice’s Point, a Duluth Seaway Port Authority news release said Monday.

“We’ve been looking for the right match to put that asset back into active use, and Hansen-Mueller proved to be that match,” said Kate Ferguson, Port Authority director of trade and business development.

Elevator A becomes the second Hansen-Mueller-owned grain complex in the Twin Ports, joining the Daisy Elevator and Elevator M complex in Superior.

“The facility fits our portfolio very well and will complement our import and export program, as well as our interior grain assets and processing plants,” said Paul Johnson, Hansen-Mueller vice president and chief operating officer. “We are excited to grow our business in the Port of Duluth-Superior, and bring new business onto the St. Lawrence Seaway.”

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Elevator A anchors the northern end of Rice’s Point in Duluth. It stands 185 feet above the harbor, with a 3.5 million-bushel storage capacity.

Consolidated Elevator Company built the structure with ceramic tile, brick and concrete in 1908, replacing the original wooden elevator constructed on the site in 1894, the Port Authority explained.

General Mills purchased the elevator from Consolidated in 1943, modernizing it in the 1970s and operating it until 2015.

The site includes a 1,900-foot dock, with a slip depth of 28 feet, and on-dock rail service from BNSF Railway.

The facility will import and export primarily small grains grown in the United States and Canada to domestic and foreign destinations.

The reactivation of Duluth’s Elevator A is expected to add at least eight new jobs on the working waterfront, in addition to generating added revenues and increasing grain tonnage through the Port of Duluth-Superior.

“Elevator A is a valuable asset in our port, with its grain-handling capacity, excellent road and rail connections, plus a long, solid, Seaway-depth dock for ships, and we’re excited for its potential,” Ferguson said.

She described working together with Hansen-Mueller, General Mills and BNSF, which owns the land on which the elevator is built.

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“We’re appreciative of everyone’s efforts that brought us to this exciting announcement for Hansen-Mueller, the Port of Duluth-Superior and the Duluth Seaway Port Authority,” Ferguson said.

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