TEMCO Grain Export Terminal Upgrade - Kalama, WA

VAA is a select service provider to both owners of the TEMCO facility at the Port of Kalama.

The TEMCO facility, jointly owned by Cargill and CHS Inc., involved extensive renovation and equipment upgrades. Facility space was at a premium, and large equipment with required continuous access made it difficult to resolve structural needs. High seismic activity in the Washington region and connections between structures of widely varying dynamic behavior required relative movement between structures and the associated equipment. VAA provided professional structural engineering, general arrangement and code life safety review services for the TEMCO grain export facility.

Our Approach

VAA’s long-standing relationship with the owners, its extensive experience with high seismicity design and understanding of the needs for design-build construction in the agricultural sector helped address the project objectives. The team was also very familiar with most of the equipment vendors, having worked with most on other projects daily.

VAA delivered the project sequentially by isolating structures with associated equipment. This allowed county reviewers, relatively unfamiliar with projects of this size and type, to keep up with the heavy volume of drawings and calculations. Compartmenting provided seismic separation of structures to minimize the impact on each other. The team paid special attention to limiting movement for typical wind motions while allowing structures to move independently for larger potential earthquakes. Design of major structures employed unusually complex engineering analysis and design. Structures were heavily detailed both for movement capabilities and rapid field assembly during construction.


With the upgrade, the facility can handle up to six million metric tons of grains and oilseeds annually – an increase of nearly three-times the previous capacity. The facility can clean, store and transfer more than 110,000 bhp to ocean-going vessels and receive commodities by rail or barge. The upgrade offers producers greater access to high-demand Pacific Rim markets and offers international customers more options for worldwide trade.

VAA continues to provide services for the owners. Relative to the size of the project, very few contractors were required and few questions arose during construction. The project site has been described by industry key players as a top notch grain port facility for its durable design of equipment and structures, ease of equipment access and flexibility of material handling and high speed flow.