March 22, 2022 — With a focus on meeting demand for soybean oil feedstock for refining into renewable biofuels, while at the same time supplying protein to the growing Southeast Asian soymeal market, AG Processing Inc a cooperative (AGP) plans to increase their export shipping capacity. On Thursday, March 17th, AGP Board of Directors approved a major expansion and upgrade of its storage and export facility at the Port of Grays Harbor on Washington’s Pacific Coast. AGP, the Port of Grays Harbor’s largest marine terminal customer, plans to construct additional storage at its existing export facility at Terminal 2, along with a new state-of-the-art ship loader at Terminal 4.
AGP’s Chairman of the Board Lowell Wilson stated, “AGP has developed a very strong relationship with the Port of Grays Harbor leadership team. We look forward to continuing and expanding our relationship as we move forward with this project. The project approved by the AGP Board will greatly increase railcar unloading speed, ship loading capacities, and add redundancy.”
“For 20 years, AGP has been an excellent partner with the Port of Grays Harbor and this major expansion and investment will further strengthen them as a leader in soybean meal exports,” shared Port of Grays Harbor Commission President Tom Quigg. “Upon completion, this project will improve efficiency for AGP and its members, create additional freight capacity within our marine terminal complex and generate family-wage jobs for our local community.”
To accommodate AGP’s expansion, the Port of Grays Harbor will need to expand rail capabilities within the marine terminal complex to handle the increased volume, as well as mitigate surface traffic impacts to the local community. Improvements to the existing Terminal 4 berth and adjacent uplands in conjunction with upgrades to the existing Terminal 2 facility will enhance AGP’s vessel loading capacity. The Port expects to submit a federal grant application to help support the infrastructure improvements that are required to secure the opportunity for additional investment in the community.
“The Port’s strategic location and access to rail have once again presented us with an incredible opportunity with a committed, strong private partner willing to further invest in our community,” stated Executive Director Gary Nelson. “We are committed to developing the infrastructure to support AGP’s growth and look forward to working with our local, tribal, state, and federal partners to make this happen.”
“AGP is committed to working with the port and government officials to develop and complete this important project in order to better serve our global customers and also provide benefits to our cooperative members, their farmer owners and the surrounding community,” said Chris Schaffer, AGP’s Chief Executive Officer.
AGP expects operations to begin in 2025. Final construction decisions and timelines are contingent on negotiations with state, local and Port officials regarding economic development incentives, lease terms, infrastructure improvements and regulatory considerations.