Cargill opens rapeseed crushing plant in France

By Susanne Retka Schill | September 16, 2008
Web exclusive posted Sept. 22, 2008 at 12:55 p.m. CST

Cargill Inc. recently inaugurated a new €65 million ($93 million) rapeseed crushing plant in the port of Montoir in western France. The company is the majority shareholder in the partnership with French oilseed finance group, Sofiproteol. The facility will produce 250,000 metric tons of rapeseed oil per year, as well as 350,000 metric tons of meal. The rapeseed oil will be supplied to the French food and biodiesel industries, with a significant volume transferred via pipeline to Diester Atlantique's biodiesel plant. Cargill is a minority shareholder in Diester Atlantique, a subsidiary of Sofiproteol.

"Montoir is ideally located due to its proximity to rapeseed production and also livestock and dairy farmers", said Herve de Praingy, head of Cargill's oilseed crushing and refining operations in France. "We also benefit from an excellent local transport infrastructure. Much of the rapeseed and rapeseed oil will be transported by train, water and pipeline connection, greatly reducing the environmental footprint of this site."

Cargill is a food and feed company, with a biofuels component, and the new plant will be a major supplier to all three, Cargill Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Greg Page said at the opening ceremony. "We believe that all three sectors can co-exist under the right conditions. This investment is an example of how we apply our global expertise to local circumstances, helping both customers and farmers adjust and capture opportunities in a fast-changing and often volatile environment."

With the opening of the Montoir facility, Cargill has an annual crush capacity of 1.85 million metric tons of rapeseed, soybean and sunflower seeds in western France.
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