“This strategic development will further strengthen LDC’s core merchandizing capabilities with additional capacity to originate and process US soy into value-added products – in this case edible oils and lecithin, reinforcing our position as a partner to our customers as we grow our food and feed solutions business established in January,” said Michael Gelchie, LDC’s CEO.
The new plant, set to be built in plant in Upper Sandusky, Ohio, will also address the growing demand for biofuels in the US market.
Construction is expected to begin in early 2024. The new facility will employ over 100 people and have annual soy crushing capacity of 1,500,000 MT, annual edible (RBD) soybean oil production capacity of 320,000 MT and annual lecithin production capacity of 7,500 MT, said the agribusiness group.
“Reflecting our long-term commitment to North America as a key market for LDC, both in terms of origination and distribution, this new facility will leverage LDC’s existing regional logistics network and synergies with our other integrated oilseed processing facilities in the region: our recently-expanded crushing, biodiesel refining, and glycerin and lecithin production complex in Claypool, Illinois, and our canola processing plant in Yorkton Canada, which we are also expanding,” said Gordon Russell, LDC’s US head of grains and oilseeds.
Gordon Denny, US soy industry consultant, told us the LDC plant "had been rumored for quite a while."
He reckons the location is extremely favorable in relation to the availability and quality of soybeans. The area also offers significant logistics support, with excellent rail transport connections for inbound soybeans and outbound meal and oil, said Denny.
The project, according to the consultant, is a clear indication that soy players believe the "exceptional" profitable environment driven by US renewable diesel (RD) and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) demand will continue.
Projected expansion in US soy crush capacity
The LDC plant is just one of many new or expanded soybean processing facilities set to come online in the US over the next few years.
September saw the new ADM soy crushing facility in Spiritwood, North Dakota, run in collaboration with Marathon, start receiving soybeans for the first time.
That facility has crush capacity of 150,000 bushels per day and will produce soybean oil as a feedstock for RD production. Marathon is responsible for delivering the oil into the fuel sector, while ADM looks after the SBM side of the partnership.
The US currently has about 61 crushing plants with a total capacity of about two million bushels per year.
Gordon Denny shared his revised projections for expansion in US soy crushing capacity with FeedNavigator:
** Existing Facility Expansion.
*** Incobrasa going to 175,000 Q4 2026 (closing old 120,000 plant) en route to 230,000 bu/day by 2030. Three Phases.
**** Bunge, Morristown, IN, $550m expansion, SPI/SPC/TVP, Flour. No meal.