The Minnesota-based agri-giant announced last week that it would be investing $225m in the plant to increase crush capacity and modernize operations. The investment creates greater market access for farmers’ crops in the area and allows those farmers to deliver their soybeans more efficiently, as the upgraded plant will unload trucks at a much faster rate, said the company.
The site was picked for the upgrade based on its importance to Cargill’s soybean processing business, said Don Camden, commercial leader for the eastern region of Cargill’s agricultural supply chain business in North America.
“Our Sidney site is a bulwark for our soybean crushing and refining businesses.
“Strengthening these centralized, integrated facilities and preparing them for future needs is a core part of our strategy,” he told FeedNavigator.
The site generates soybean oil for use at the adjacent refined oils facility and soybean meal intended for the animal feed market. Livestock producers in the region, especially hog producers, are the focus market for the feed ingredients generated at the facility, said Camden.
The facility is set to continue to source most of the soybeans it uses from surrounding regions, Camden added.
“We want to provide the best experience possible to local farmers when they choose to sell their crops to us,” he said. “We also are seeing increased demand for soybean meal in the surrounding region, as pork producers and others raise production to meet growing consumer demand for protein.”
Expansion project highlights
The crush facility initially opened in 1978, although the refinery was established later, Cargill said. The current expansion project is anticipated to be completed in 2022.
When the expansion is complete in 2022, Cargill expects to add approximately 12 full-time jobs to the team of 325 currently employed at Sidney. In addition to these new jobs and the benefits to farmers, the expansion will boost the local economy during construction, said the company.
The next step for the project, now that it has been announced, is to gather the necessary permits, said Camden. “The permitting application process is now beginning – starting with an air permit application,” he added.
The modernization work will include the addition of new technology intended to speed up the bean unloading process for trucks during delivery, continued Camden. “The overall capacity of the crush plant will also be substantially increased.”
“For competitive reasons, we aren’t disclosing the exact numbers on the capacity expansion or loading rates,” he said. “We anticipate there will be good supply in the region to meet our needs.”
Cargill employs over 1,400 people at 19 facilities around the state of Ohio: “Farmers are at the core of our business,” Camden said. “This [project] also demonstrates our commitment to invest in and grow with the Sidney community,” he added.