Thursday, April 8, 2010

Ag Bulk-Handling Facility at Grays Harbor to Expand

Omaha, Neb.-based Ag Processing Inc. has announced plans for a multi-million dollar expansion to its agriculture bulk-commodity facility at the Port of Grays Harbor in Aberdeen, Wash.

The agricultural co-op's plans call for the construction of storage silos and rail-unloading facilities on an 13.5 acre parcel next to its current Grays Harbor Terminal 2 facility.

The firm optioned the property from the port in January 2009 and has spent more than a year conducting market analysis and preliminary design work. Construction is expected to begin this fall. When completed in early 2012, the additional facilities will be integrated into AGP's existing 75-acre facility.

“This investment will allow AGP to provide grain, feed ingredients, and oilseeds along with our current range of processed products to our customers in Pacific Rim countries,” said AGP Chief Executive Officer Marty Reagan. “It will also provide our customers with a secure supply of grain and oilseeds directly from AGPs farm-to-port cooperative supply chain that they value.”

AGP, the largest farmer-owned soybean processor in the world, is owned by Midwest cooperatives representing over 200,000 farmers in more than 16 states.

“AGP has been a vital partner in the growth of shipping activity in Grays Harbor and we are thrilled they are increasing their presence on Washington’s Coast,” said Grays Harbor Port Commission President Jack Thompson. “This project will more than double our vessel calls, creating jobs for our longshore workers, rail operators, tug assists and pilots. It is great news for our community.”

Port officials said in a statement that they "estimate shipping volumes will more than double due to the expansion, reaching new Pacific Rim markets with commodities shipped through Grays Harbor."

Commodities will arrive via unit trains transported by Burlington Northern Santa Fe and RailAmerica’s Puget Sound and Pacific Railroad direct to the Port of Grays Harbor marine terminal complex. Port officials are working with the railroads, as well as federal, state and local agencies to expand rail capacity in the region.