Cargill announced plans Thursday to build a 60-million-gallon biodiesel plant in Wichita, Kansas, with production set to launch in January 2019, according to a news release from the company.
Construction on the $90 million plant is scheduled to begin in December 2017. The plant will be located next to Cargill's oilseed-processing plant and replaces an existing oil refinery managed by Cargill's global edible oil business.
"Cargill has invested significantly in oil and shortenings products and remains committed to the food industry," the news release said. "Cargill's global edible oils business will transfer existing edible oils production to alternate Cargill facilities."
The plant is expected to employ about 35 full-time employees.
Cargill offers biofuels from a variety of renewable resources, including corn, soybeans, sugarcane, palm oil and biogas. Cargill produces ethanol and biodiesel in the United States and in the European Union, as well as ethanol in Brazil and biodiesel in Argentina.
As a whole, Cargill operates a number of different facilities in 12 Kansas communities and employs more than 4,000 people.
"This new facility will enable Wichita to be a competitive supplier in the biofuels market, bringing value to the suppliers and customers we work with, and connecting farmers with industrial customers by supplying quality biomass-based diesel," Pat Woerner, biodiesel commercial leader for Cargill's agricultural supply chain business, said in a statement.
"Biofuels are good for the U.S. farm economy and can bring capital investment to agriculture while boosting economic development in farm communities."
Cargill already operates biodiesel plants in Iowa Falls, Iowa, and Kansas City, Missouri.
"We are excited to bring this new facility to our farmers and customers in Wichita," said Warren Feather, oilseed managing director for Cargill's agricultural supply chain business.
"At Cargill, we're prepared to handle demand for biofuels while balancing it against the need to nourish a growing global population."
Currently there are three biodiesel plants producing in Kansas, with a production capacity of 7.2 million gallons.
Cargill provides food, agriculture, financial and industrial products and services around the world. Cargill has 150,000 employees in 70 countries.
Todd Neeley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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