France’s Rouen Port to Beautify Grain Silos Amid Urban Renewal

Senalia, the biggest grain-silo operator in France’s Rouen port, plans to embellish its storage facilities as part of an urban renewal program in the city on the Seine River.

The grain handler held a competition for ideas to beautify its silos, 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) west of Rouen’s historic center, the port wrote in documents on its website. The competition, aimed at architects, engineers, landscapers and other artists, closed Jan. 7.

Senalia’s gray concrete silos on the Elie peninsula in the Seine stand 70 meters (230 feet) tall, the height of a typical 20-story apartment building. Construction on the terminal started in 1960 and additional storage capacity was added through to 1990, for total capacity of 250,000 metric tons of grains.

“With annual traffic of 2 million tons, the Elie peninsula is one of the economic lungs of the national grain business,” the port wrote. “Its sustainability is therefore a prerequisite for the port of Rouen and the economic actors.”

Rouen, where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake in 1431, started developing part of the Seine River banks west of the center in 2000 to link the city and its port area, turning dock- side warehouses into residential and commercial areas.

A jury will study the entries in February and announce the winning concept to enhance the silos in March, with a prize of 12,000 euros ($16,000) for the winner, according to the competition document.

Senalia operates another 435,000-ton grain storage terminal downstream of Rouen. Total grain-storage capacity in the Rouen area is 1.19 million tons.

Rouen is Europe’s largest wheat-export port. Senalia’s silos on the port function as the sole point of delivery for milling-wheat futures contracts traded on NYSE Liffe in Paris.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rudy Ruitenberg in Paris at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at

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