New crush facility opens in Oregon

By Ron Kotrba | September 16, 2008
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Web exclusive posted Oct. 1, 2008 at 11:22 a.m. CST

A new crush plant capable of processing 80 million pounds of oilseed per year began operating Sept. 25 in Rickreall, Ore., west of Salem. The plant, owned by Willamette Biomass Processors Inc., will take in oilseeds, mostly regionally grown canola and camelina from farmers in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana.

According to Tomas Endicott, vice president of business development for Willamette Biomass Processors, the new facility is a mechanical cold press plant, leaving five to 10 percent oil in the resulting meal.

Shipments of canola and camelina seed have already been received at the new crush plant from producers across the state of Oregon. Kathy Freeborn and her father grew canola this year as part of an Oregon State University research program. "This year we actually netted about $375 more per acre on our canola than we did from our adjacent intermediate rye grass field," Freeborn said.

Approximately 56 million pounds of meal will be returned to the agriculture community as livestock feed and the 3 million gallons of oil will be used as feedstock for SeQuential-Pacific Biodiesel, which recently completed an expansion this summer from 1 MMgy to 5 MMgy.

In-state biodiesel production of 5 MMgy made from oilseeds in the four-state area would trigger an Oregon B2 mandate, and Willamette Biomass Processors representatives said this crush facility will help provide the "missing link" between regional oilseed and biodiesel production.

The crush plant was built at the site of the former Dallas Wheat Co-op, which already had truck and rail access and storage capacity for more than 430,000 bushels in a multi-bin grain elevator.

A grand opening ceremony was scheduled for Friday, Sept. 26.
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