Omaha – Ag Processing Inc., a cooperative (AGP), has announced plans for a major expansion of the Company's soybean processing plant at Hastings, Nebraska.
Current plans anticipate the expanded facility begin running under its new capacity in the fall of 2016. Company officials noted that final construction decisions are contingent on negotiations with state and local officials.
"We are very excited to announce this major expansion project which is a natural complement to our existing operations at Hastings," said Keith Spackler, CEO.
"We are finalizing planning and design specifications for the new soybean processing capacity, said Spackler.
"AGP has a long history of operations at the Hastings facility with a strong connection locally via our dedicated employee team and a positive economic impact on area communities," he said. "We look forward to strengthening this excellent relationship by continuing to invest in U.S. agriculture and rural communities such as Hastings which reverberates throughout the region in terms of jobs and economic activity."
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. 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.
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.
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 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. "Our commitment to the Hastings area is strong and long-term," he added.