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Zeppelin Systems celebrates turnkey handover of a malting plant full of superlatives in Brazil


Friedrichshafen, June 6, 2024. In 2021, Zeppelin Systems, a global system builder and solution provider, was tasked with planning, constructing and commissioning the world’s largest (built in one piece) malting plant in Ponta Grossa (Campos Gerais region in Brazil). As a reliable engineering partner and integrated solution provider in plant engineering, the company offers complete solutions from a single source worldwide. With a celebratory ceremony on June 6, 2024, the “Maltaria Campos Gerais (MCG)” plant has now been officially handed over to the operators. The malting plant in Ponta Grossa can produce up to 240,000 tons of malt annually – which corresponds to around 15 percent of Brazil’s domestic demand. 

Beer consumption in Brazil has increased in recent years – and so has the demand for malt. Fertile soils in the Brazilian state of Paraná (in which the Campos Gerais region with the city of Ponta Grossa is located) ensure a continuous and robust supply of brewing barley with two harvests per year. A consortium of various agricultural cooperatives under the leadership of Cooperativa Agrária Agroindustrial, which already operates a malting plant with Zeppelin Systems technology in the region, tasked the company with providing a complete package from planning and design to the manufacture, assembly and commissioning of the world's largest malting plant that was built in one piece. A project full of superlatives that Zeppelin Systems was able to successfully complete and with a satisfied customer!

"I am very proud that our Zeppelin Systems team on site in Brazil was able to complete this superlative system in just over two years. With our global network, we offer our customers first-class know-how for all system components and always take local conditions into account. This makes us unique," according to Dr. Markus Vöge, CEO of Zeppelin Systems GmbH, at the opening.

Plant full of superlatives for malt production
Each component of the plant alone is impressive in its dimensions. Malt production takes up 21,000 square meters of space on the site, which has a total area of 800,000 square meters. For the three areas of malt production – steeping, germinating and kilning (drying) – a steeping building with a total of 24 steeping containers was erected on two levels. Two germination towers with five germination units, each reaching a diameter of 30.5 meters, and two single deck kilns  (each with a diameter of 40 meters), with a central middle section for energy recovery, complete the system.

Zeppelin Systems also supplied mechanical conveyor systems for transporting barley and malt. These extend a total length of approx. 510 meters horizontally and 240 meters vertically. The finished products are temporarily stored in two dry malt silos with a capacity of 900 cubic meters each. 

Regional production
"We manufactured large parts of the system at our site in São Bernardo do Campo, brought it overland to Ponta Grossa and installed it on site for a custom fit. The project management and coordination of all trades on the construction site was of course a great challenge – but also an enriching experience as everyone was able to learn from each other. At peak times, up to 1,700 people from 50 different companies worked on the construction site – around 180 Zeppelin Systems employees contributed their expertise," explained Mark Heinke, Managing Director of Zeppelin Systems Brazil on the occasion of the ceremony.

Vilmar Schüssler, General Manager of Maltaria Campos Gerais and Overall Project Manager of the mega plant, adds: “Maltaria Campos Gerais was born from the dream of strengthening the culture of malting barley cultivation among comrades and offering Brazilian breweries malt of the highest quality.” The project was based on two key premises: Sustainability and state-of-the-art technology. Vilmar Schüssler adds: “Zeppelin Systems played an outstanding role among the companies involved in the project and contributed significantly to the company's success. It was 30 months of intensive work and we are proud to produce the malt for the best beers.”

The plant of superlatives was commissioned as planned at the end of 2023. As is customary for plants of this size, the quantity of barley processed is gradually ramped up and will reach between 700 and 800 tons per day at full capacity. Around 12,000 barley farmers in the region have a secure income thanks to the purchase of their crop guaranteed by the malting plant.  In addition to Marc Segers, Zeppelin Systems Vice President for Malting & Brewing, and Mark Heinke, Brazilian Regional Manager, representatives of the commissioning cooperatives and participants from the contracting companies also took part in the ceremony.

© Zeppelin Systems GmbH, for publication, free of charge. Please notify us or send us a copy for our 

Picture 1: View into one of the ten germination boxes, each with a diameter of 30.5 metres, including turning machine.

Picture 2: The lower level of the soaking house with twelve stainless steel soaking tanks.

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Picture 3:  Picturesque: Shortly after sunset, view of one of the two kilns, two malt silos and conveyor systems.

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Evelyn Müller
Leitung globales Marketing & Kommunikation +49 7541 202 1545