AG Processing Inc. (AGP) announced plans for a major expansion of its soybean processing plant in Hastings, Neb.
Current plans and schedules anticipate operations at 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," AGP chief executive officer Keith Spackler said. "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 in 1999 at Hastings, which remains the western-most soybean processing operation in the U.S.
Expansion of the facility represents a sound strategic business opportunity for the cooperative given the growth of soybean acres in Nebraska and Kansas. In addition, the Hastings location is the closest U.S. soybean processor to serve the growing demand among Pacific Rim markets for soybeans and soybean products from the U.S. Midwest.
Earlier this year, AGP closed the corn processing plant at the Hastings facility due to ongoing challenging economic conditions in the ethanol industry. However, the new soybean processing capacity will utilize a significant component of the former corn processing infrastructure, such as the boiler, material handling, railroad track and storage assets.
Spackler noted that existing operations will not be disrupted once construction is underway, which he said is another benefit to expansion at the Hastings location.