Agribusiness cooperative CHS Inc. is kicking off a $60 million expansion and renovation project at its Mankato, MN soybean refinery and processing plant as it pivots to meet increased global demand for soybean oil.
“Trends in global consumption of refined oils such as soy, canola, and palm remain strong, especially in the renewable diesel sector, with projected continued tightening of stocks,” Tom Malecha, vice president, Global Grain & processing operations for CHS, said in a company release issued Tuesday. “We’re seeing tremendous opportunities to maximize our farmer-owners’ investments in high-performing assets and infrastructure.”
The improvements will enable the facility to increase soybean oil production by over 35%. CHS also intends to upgrade and expand the plant’s refining process and make improvements to the location’s process flows.
“We’re buying and crushing more local soybeans and transporting more crude oil to the Mankato plant for refining,” said Malecha. “We’re looking forward to being able to process even more of farmers’ soybeans into value-added products, which are in high demand by global customers in several market segments.”
Work on the project is expected to conclude in summer 2023. The investment in the Mankato site comes after CHS recently carried out a 24-month construction project at its Fairmont, MN plant that increased its crush capacity by 30%.