AGP announces expansion of port facilityAGP announces expansion of port facility
Major expansion of Port of Grays Harbor in Washington expected to be operable in 2025.
March 23, 2022
The board of directors of Ag Processing Inc a cooperative (AGP) recently approved a major expansion and upgrade of its export facilities at the Port of Grays Harbor (POGH) in Aberdeen, Washington. The plans include upgrades to its current facilities at Terminal 2, including the construction of additional storage, and the addition of a new state-of-the-art ship loader at POGH’s Terminal 4. Terminal 2 and Terminal 4 are both deep-water berths with quick access to the open ocean. The planned expansion will enable AGP to load multiple ships up to and including Panamax-sized vessels.
“AGP has developed a very strong relationship with the Port of Grays Harbor leadership team,” said AGP’s Chairman of the Board Lowell Wilson stated. “We look forward to continuing and expanding our relationship as we move forward with this project. The project approved by the AGP Board will greatly increase railcar unloading speed, ship loading capacities, and add redundancy.”
AGP’s CEO Chris Schaffer added, “With the expansion in U.S. soybean crush capacity driven by the demand for renewable diesel feedstock, soybean meal production in the United States will outpace historical increases in domestic usage. AGP’s western U.S. processing locations fit well to supply additional protein to the growing Southeast Asian and Asian markets. The U.S. currently provides less than 20% of overall Southeast Asian soymeal demand. Through the years, AGP has developed a very strong relationship with protein buyers in this region. This project will significantly improve speed, capacity, and product availability for the benefit of current and future international customers.”
AGP’s Vice President of Ag Products Craig Pietig said the upgrades and new ship loader will improve logistics for its plants, enhance production, and reduce vessel idle time. “All of this will reduce costs for the end customer ensuring the Port of Grays Harbor remains a cost-effective port for soybean meal exports and other processed commodities. In the past, exports have been curtailed by U.S. soybean meal production capacities.”
Once the announced expansions in the domestic soybean crushing industry are in operation, Pietig said there will be additional soybean meal to better serve the growing international demand for protein. “When this project is completed, our unloading capabilities will rival grain terminal speeds and the expanded facility will provide a needed marketing channel for the anticipated increase in supply.”
AGP expects operations to begin in 2025, but company officials noted that final construction decisions and timeline are contingent on negotiations with federal, state, local and POGH officials regarding economic development incentives, lease terms, infrastructure improvements and regulatory considerations.
“We are committed to working with the port and government officials to develop and complete this important project in order to better serve our customers and also provide benefits to our cooperative members, their farmer owners, and the surrounding community,” said Schaffer.
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