Amalgamated Sugar Company’s largest sugar processing facility added
new equipment and structures which enabled the factory to produce
another product called betaine. Betaine, a product of sugar beets, is used
in the production of some cosmetics. It is also used as a feeding stimulant
in ocean fish farming operations. Leavitt Engineering completed the
structural design and consulting services for three new building structures
related to the project.
The Betaine Separator Building expansion, located at the southwest corner
of the existing factory next to Karcher Road, is now home to a new 14-foot
diameter by 60-foot high betaine separator and other related equipment. The
expansion is a 23-foot wide by 66-foot long single bay addition to the
Separator Building previously designed by Leavitt & Associates. The existing
steel structure was analyzed using 3D modeling software to ensure that the
existing bracing systems were capable of supporting wind and seismic loads
required by current building code. Drilled helical anchors were used in the
foundation to support the four new steel columns. Exterior walls were
constructed of 6-inch thick precast concrete panels with a 4-inch brick
Construction began in early 2005 but was halted when the new separator,
which was delivered in one piece, encountered a transportation hurdle.
Rather than shipping the separator by truck, the separator was eventually
transported up the Columbia River to Lewiston, Idaho, making the overland
route shorter. Construction resumed after the separator was in place.
The second phase of betaine upgrades was the Betaine Evaporator Upgrade.
Not visible from the street, it is located on the north side of the factory.
This 13’-6" by 25’-0" four level steel braced frame supports two betaine
recovery evaporators and two betaine vapor separators. Like the Separator
Building expansion, this structure is an expansion of other work previously
designed by Leavitt & Associates. Some existing steel beams were retrofitted
to support the new equipment. Only two new spread footings were needed.
Visible from Karcher Road, the final phase of the betaine expansion
project, the Betaine Crystallization Building, added about 3,000 square feet
of factory floor area near the southeast corner of the factory. Tanks,
dryers, conveyors, mixers, elevators, and other equipment in the new
Crystallization Building now convert the betaine from liquid to solid form.
The project included a new exterior stair structure, also designed by
Leavitt & Associates, and a 15-foot diameter by 60-foot high storage silo,
both located immediately east of the new structure. Existing windows in the
old factory walls were removed and in-filled with masonry block in
compliance with current fire code. The new building has two floors above
ground level and one equipment mezzanine.