New Canola Processing Plant Located in Eastern Washington

New Canola Processing Plant Located in Eastern Washington

Last week I had the opportunity to tour the new Pacific Coast Canola Processing facility in Warden. It is now up and running. Matt Upmeyer is PacificCoast Canola's Chief Operating Officer. He explains how the location was selected.

Upmeyer: "We chose the Warden area very simply because -- for several factors -- the first one being the relatively inexpensive electrical costs due to the hydroelectric power that is produced in the area by the Grant County PUD. The second was the proximity to the potato processors in the area that use significant volumes of canola oil. Probably the most important reason this is an area where we expect to see a significant growth in canola production."

The $120 million facility construction began in mid-2011 and was completed in late 2012. He shares the status of their production now.

Upmeyer: "As of today we are operating at commercial capacities and expect to be ramped up to full capacities in 2013."

He says that the company has been been happy to see an increase in canola production across the Pacific Northwest in the last several years.

Upmeyer: "Due to the agronomic benefits of adding canola as a rotational crop, we really saw the wheat farmers benefitting from adding canola and so far that has held true."

In 2012 there were approximately 115,000 acres of canola grown with the three Pacific Northwest states and this year the acreage increased to nearly 140,000 acres.

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