Green Plains now producing high protein products at Shenandoah facility

 The Shenandoah location of Green Plains Inc. has shipped its first loads of a new high protein product to be used in pet foods.

Written by: Ryan Matheny / KMA

Company officials announced last week that it has started up production of the new product successfully and that the majority of its planned production for 2020 has already been sold.

“The completion of our first high protein ingredient production project represents a major milestone in our strategy to diversify our earnings and transition towards the creation of more sustainable high value products,” said Todd Becker, president and chief executive officer of Green Plains Inc. “We can now provide a high-quality protein feed product to the pet and aquaculture markets, extracting additional value from each kernel of corn we process in order to meet the growing worldwide demand for protein and novel feed ingredients. Our initial shipments averaged 51% protein, compared to traditional distillers grains, which average 30%.”

The new ingredient is produced using Fluid Quip Technologies’ patented Maximized Stillage Co-products system.  The $38 million system was recently installed at the Shenandoah facility.  Company officials say the new system allows the Shenandoah location to produce up to 50,000 tons of high protein feed ingredients annually and has also increased their corn oil capacity by 20%.

“The successful startup at Shenandoah demonstrates our continued commitment to our Total Transformation Plan to become a world class provider of sustainable, high protein and novel feed ingredients, while continuing to produce low carbon, closed loop and sustainable biofuels,” added Becker. “We are excited to implement this technology across our platform and collaborate with our biotechnology partners to further increase margins and add value to the products we produce. We will continue to refine formulations for our aquaculture feed customers using Optimal Aquafeed’s world class aqua lab located next to our high protein production facility in order to provide our customers with innovative solutions to increase feed conversions and help them transition to products that do not increase acreage expansion globally.”

In addition to the new high protein ingredient, the facility has the capacity to process 28 million bushels of corn each year, produce 82 million gallons of ethanol, 160,000 tons of dried distillers’ grains and 31 million pounds of corn oil.

The high protein product will also be available for use in Green Plains’ joint venture with Optimal Fish Food LLC of Brookings, South Dakota.  The two companies in 2018 formed a 50/50 joint venture called Optimal Aquafeed to develop new aquaculture feeds.

“Aquaculture is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, and we have an opportunity to become a key supplier of high-quality protein aquafeed,” said Becker. “This joint venture perfectly aligns with our strategy to invest in high-protein process technology, providing us a pathway to a significant, growing customer base. We have partnered with global leaders in aquaculture feed formulation that will bring higher realized values not only for the high-protein products we will produce, but will also service customers worldwide that are looking for alternatives to traditional fishmeal based feeds. We believe this relationship will maximize the value of our products, further reducing the volatility of our earnings in the future, as well as accelerating our confidence to invest in the transformation of our current ethanol platform.”

“This new partnership will help change the relationship between ingredient suppliers, feed manufacturers, and fish producers to bring a new approach to transparency, quality, and fish performance within the industry,” said Bill Harris, a Principal of Optimal Fish Food. “The market is moving away from traditional fishmeal diets, and the development of new high-protein products from Green Plains will not only enhance feed conversion in many species of fish, but also allow aquaculture producers to better serve a growing market of consumers looking for products that are not widely available in the market today.”  

Researchers at the Shenandoah facility have been working to develop proper rationing and feed rates for commercial aquaculture operations.  The company says aquaculture is expected to supply 62% of the world’s seafood supply by 2030, according to the World Bank.


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