Cargill invests $225m in plant protein and refined oils facility

The company has invested around $325m in plant protein ventures over the last two years, with JV partner PURIS and now Cargill’s Ohio facility the chief beneficiaries of the investments.

Global agribusiness Cargill will invest $225 million to expand its soybean crush mill and refined oils facility in Sidney, Ohio to meet “growing demand for protein and refined oils.”

The work being undertaken to modernize operations, increase crush capacity and improve the efficiency of the truck unloading process is scheduled to complete in 2022.

Expansion of the crush plant will also “provide Cargill’s adjacent refined oils facility with a larger, direct supply of crude soybean oil,” the firm said in a statement. Local farmers are also expected to benefit as Cargill’s demand for soybeans will increase alongside that of the facility’s capacity.

Cargill managing director of global crush Warren Feather said in a statement: “The increased capacity will strengthen and expand our US crush footprint, enable us to meet the growing demand for soy products from our customers and further integrate our refined oil capabilities.”

Cargill did not respond to requests for comment.

The agribusiness entered into a joint venture at the start of 2018 with Minnesota-headquartered PURIS, a pea protein manufacturer that claims to be the largest of its kind in North America. The company also made an initial $25 million investment into PURIS at the time, which is a key supplier to Beyond Meat.

Towards the end of August 2019, Cargill made a further $75 million investment into PURIS, enabling the pea producer to more than double its pea protein production using an existing 200,000 square-foot facility in Dawson, Minnesota.

Work to retrofit the facility for pea production is due to complete in 2020 and means PURIS now owns and operates three facilities in the US dedicated to producing protein from the legume.

“This investment will grant PURIS the ability to support more food companies, more farmers and more consumers faster,” said PURIS president Tyler Lorenzen of the investment.