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AGP Port Expansion Receives $900,000 from Soybean Farmers

Expansion, redevelopment project will double amount of soybean meal exported from Washington terminal

2 Lisa Selfie December 2020 Headshot
Photo courtesy of the Soy Transportation Coalition
Photo courtesy of the Soy Transportation Coalition

Last March, AG Processing, Inc. (AGP) announced a major expansion and upgrade to its export terminal at the Port of Grays Harbor in Aberdeen, WA.

A group of soybean farmer organizations have stepped in to help the future investment that will significantly enhance the amount of U.S. soybean meal exported to international customers.

The Nebraska Soybean Board, the Iowa Soybean Association, the Kansas Soybean Commission, the North Dakota Soybean Council, the South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, and the Soy Transportation Coalition have committed $900,000 to help offset some of the pre-engineering, design and site development costs of the Port of Grays Harbor Terminal 4 Expansion and Redevelopment Project.

“With more future soybean processing in this country, farmers are very interested in opportunities to assist with the increased need for soybean meal export capacity,” says Jonathan Miller, a soybean farmer from Island, Kentucky, and chairman of the Soy Transportation Coalition.

“The more we can export a higher value product, like soybean meal, farmers will benefit. I am proud of how these soybean farmer organizations are demonstrating their commitment to their fellow producers by making this significant investment.”

Expansion and redevelopment project details

AGP plans to construct additional storage at its Terminal 2 facility and develop a new ship loader at Terminal 4.

These investments – scheduled to be operational in 2025 – will ultimately allow the AGP terminal to increase soybean meal exports from 3 million to 6 million metric tons.

In order to accommodate this growth and investment, the Port of Grays Harbor will expand its rail infrastructure within the complex to efficiently handle the increased volume, as well as mitigate the surface traffic impact to the local community.

U.S. soybean crush capacity continues to grow

AGP’s CEO Chris Schaffer says with the expansion in U.S. soybean crush capacity driven by the demand for renewable diesel feedstock, soybean meal production in the U.S. will outpace historical increases in domestic usage.

“AGP’s previous and future investments at the Port of Grays Harbor are motivated by the commitment to provide efficient and economical access to international markets for U.S. soybean meal,” says Chris Schaffer, CEO of AGP.

“For many years, this export terminal has served as a vital link between AGP farmer-owned cooperative members and critical international markets. We very much appreciate the financial commitment from the soybean farmer organizations to support AGP’s efforts to enhance and upgrade the port’s export capabilities.”

Investment in the PNW help Midwest producers

Mike Steenhoek, executive director of the Soy Transportation Coalition noted it is well-established how investments in the Pacific Northwest will result in greater farmer profitability in the Midwest.

“What happens over there impacts what happens over here, and what happens over here impacts what happens over there,” explained Steenhoek.

"Profitable farmers in the Midwest result in increased investment in the Pacific Northwest. AGP’s expansion project at the Port of Grays Harbor is arguably the most immediate opportunity for soybean farmers to assist with the need for increased soybean meal export capacity.”

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