Perdue to break ground on $60M Lancaster County soybean facility

October 02. 2012 9:00AM - Last modified: October 02. 2012 9:53AM

Jason Scott

Maryland-based Perdue AgriBusiness, a subsidiary of Perdue Farms, plans to open a $60 million soybean-crushing plant in Conoy Township.

The agricultural commodities company plans to break ground this fall on 57 acres in an industrial zone on the west side of Route 441, adjacent to the Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority's waste-to-energy facility.

"They wanted a site with renewable energy," LCSWMA CEO Jim Warner said, referring to the steam from the trash-burning plant that will be sold to Perdue.

The authority owns the neighboring tract. It has been looking for something that fits the community and further leverages its incinerator, Warner said.

More than 80 percent of the plant's production will be soybean meal and soy hulls for livestock use, said Peter Heller, a Perdue spokesman. The rest will be soybean oil, which could be used by the snack food industry or as a biodiesel alternative fuel source.

Perdue, which received an $8.75 million grant under the state's Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program, would source soybeans from Central Pennsylvania farmers. About 35 full-time jobs would be created, Heller said.

The grain-receiving facility is slated to open for the 2013 soybean harvest. The processing plant could be completed by the end of 2013 or beginning of 2014, Heller said.

The plant should help local farmers scale back feed imports from the Midwest, which will reduce costs, Warner said. It also should help drive local soybean demand and benefit growers.

Perdue has other soybean-crushing plants in Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia. The company has been crushing soybeans since 1960.


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