Shawnee Milling Co., at 201 S. Broadway, on Monday received the first two holding bins — the beginning of an expansion project that will require 26 of the large containers altogether.

Shawnee Milling Co., at 201 S. Broadway, on Monday received the first two holding bins — the beginning of an expansion project that will require 26 of the large containers altogether.

Shawnee Milling Co. President Joe Ford said the expansion project has been eight years in the making.

Ford said the 50-foot-tall bins will hold finished product — including whole grains, wheat and corn — enabling the company to make its existing products more efficiently, plus add new ones to its offerings.

He said 20 of the bins can each hold 76,000 pounds of product; the six larger ones will each have the capacity to store 150,000 pounds.

“It's the largest expansion since the late '90s,” Ford said.

The massive storage containers will be perched on the third floor, rising to become a seven-story tower when it's finished — making it one story taller than the flour mill.

The process will take some time.

Ford said that while the first two bins arrived Monday, shipments of a couple bins each are scheduled to reach the site every other day through the month of August.

Ford said onlookers will have ample opportunities to watch the cranes place the large equipment.

He said it will take two cranes for the job — a 50-ton crane and a 350-ton crane.

After the bins are in place, electrical and mechanical equipment will have to be put in place to make the whole project operational.

He said a storage warehouse also is being added on the north side for packing and ingredients.

Everything could be up and running hopefully by late March or April, Ford said.