Expansion plans are being announced for a soybean processing plant in southwest Iowa that will give growers in that region a larger market for their commodities — while giving the facility new national status.
Bunge North America is launching a construction project at its Council Bluffs operation that will boost its crushing capacity by 11-million bushels per year. Deb Siedel is spokeswoman for the St. Louis-based Bunge. Siedel says “The Council Bluffs facility, when we have the expansion complete, will have the crush capacity of about 77-million bushels of soybeans. That will be the largest plant in the United States.” She says there will be a small boost to the staff in Council Bluffs. She says it’ll add five jobs to the current payroll of 136.
Seidel says the expansion should be done by harvest time of 2008. She says the Council Bluffs facility has ready access to two interstate highways and five rail lines, enabling the plant to efficiently ship to both domestic and the international markets. Seidel discusses some of the company’s motivations behind launching the expansion project.
Seidel says “There is a lot of focus on renewable fuel and that is a part of the reason for the expansion. Obviously, as more vegetable oil is going into biodiesel we need to generate more vegetable oil for that. We also are seeing very increased demand for soybean meal in the western half of the United States and into Mexico so we also want to supply the soybean meal to those areas.” Soybean meal is often used as a livestock feed.