Ag Processing Inc. (AGP) announced plans for a major expansion of the company’s soybean processing plant at Hastings, Neb. Current plans and schedules anticipate operations from the new capacity to begin in the fall of 2016.
“We are very excited to announce this major expansion project which is a natural complement to our existing operations at Hastings,” said Keith Spackler, AGP chief executive officer. “We are finalizing planning and design specifications for the new soybean processing capacity while working with state and local officials on the project.”
AGP designed and built the first farmer-owned soybean processing operation in Nebraska at Hastings in 1999, which remains the Western-most soybean processing operation in the U.S. Expansion of the soybean processing facility represents a sound strategic business opportunity for the cooperative given the growth of soybean acres in Nebraska and Kansas, the company said in a statement. The Hastings location is the closest U.S. soybean processor to serve the growing demand among Pacific Rim markets for Midwestern soybeans and soybean products.
Earlier this year, AGP closed the corn processing plant at the Hastings facility due to ongoing challenging economic conditions in the ethanol industry. Yet, the new soybean processing capacity will utilize a significant component of the former corn processing infrastructure, such as boiler, material handling, railroad track and storage assets.
Spackler noted that once construction is underway existing operations will not be disrupted, another benefit to expansion at the Hastings location.