ADM boosts South American soy crushing with new Paraguay plant

CHICAGO Fri May 10, 2013 1:23pm EDT

CHICAGO May 10 (Reuters) - Agribusiness Archer Daniels Midland said on Friday it opened a soybean crushing complex in Villeta, Paraguay, that will boost its South American oilseed crushing capacity by more than 20 percent.

The plant, constructed over three years adjacent to ADM's fertilizer-blending facility in Villeta, has a daily crushing capacity of 3,500 tonnes, or 1,277,500 tonnes per year. The location of the complex near a port facility on the Paraguay River allows for efficient crop buying and export, ADM said.

"The strategic location of our complex in Villeta enables the full integration of our logistics," Juan Luciano, ADM executive vice president and chief operating officer, said in a statement. "Our barges arrive here with inputs for the production of fertilizers and leave loaded with our soy products. Trucks arrive with soy sourced from different regions of the country, and return to the field with fertilizers designed to meet the many and varied demands of productive, modern farmers."

The facility's construction includes integrated water treatment system and biomass-fueled electric power generation. More than 150 permanent jobs will be created at the plant.

Soybean production in Paraguay has been growing at an annual rate of more than 10 percent for the past decade, the company said.

ADM began operations in Paraguay in 1997 by purchasing the local grain divisions of Glencore and Silo Amambay. ADM now processes about 30 percent of Paraguay's output of grain and oilseeds, according the company's web site. ADM operates at least 26 grain elevators in Paraguay, most in the fertile agricultural zone bordering the Parana River.

ADM's transportation operations in Paraguay include a trucking company. Its river fleet includes at least 10 tugboats and 171 barges. ADM owns one port facility and leases three more.

With more than 265 processing plants, 460 crop buying facilities and a global grain transport network, ADM competes with Cargill, Bunge, Louis Dreyfus and other large rivals to acquire grain in most of the world's main crop exporting regions.

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