By MATTHEW WEAVER
A new canola processing plant will break ground next week in Washington state.
Legumex Walker Inc., majority owner of the project, will sponsor a ceremony at 11 a.m. Sept. 21 in Warden, Wash.
The $110 million plant will be operated by Legumex Walker's Pacific Coast Canola subsidiary. It is designed to process 1,100 metric tons of canola per day and will produce about 142,500 metric tons of expeller-pressed canola oil and 227,000 metric tons of high-quality canola meal each year, according to a company press release.
The facility is the company's first in the United States.
"We believe this plant will generate hundreds of millions of dollars of economic activity over the next decade in terms of direct employment and income to farmers and other sectors of the agricultural economy," stated Joel Horn, president and CEO of Legumex Walker and president of Pacific Coast Canola.
Jon Austin, spokesman for the company, said discussions with regional farmers are under way to source feedstock.
"We hope it will be of interest to local producers," Austin said. "It potentially could be an attractive destination for producers even beyond the area."
Austin said the company hopes for a strong relationship with area farmers.
"Producers are an important part of the success of the plant," he said.
The facility is expected to be completed by late 2012.
Pacific Coast Canola is 85 percent owned by Legumex Walker and 15 percent by Glencore Grain Investment LLC.