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Perdue AgriBusiness receives DEP permit for Pa. grain elevator

Salisbury, Md. (Wednesday, April 3, 2013) - The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has approved Perdue AgriBusiness’ permit to construct and operate an $18 million grain elevator in Conoy Township, Lancaster County. The facility will receive, process, dry, store and ship soybeans that are grown and harvested throughout the region.

“Increasing the local capacity to dry and store soybeans allows for a more timely harvest, which helps to ensure a quality product, and it reduces the costs that farmers have to pay for transportation and shipping,” said Project Manager Peter Heller of Perdue AgriBusiness. “This project is going to ensure Pennsylvania farmers get the most value out of the grains they produce.”

The grain elevator is located in the heart of the state’s largest soybean growing region. Lancaster, York and Berks counties rank as the top three soybean-producing counties, respectively. Lebanon County ranks fifth. Seven of the top 10 soybean producing counties are located within 50 miles of the facility, which has a drying and storage capacity of 1.5 million bushels.

The state produced 25 million bushels of soybeans in 2012. Between 10 and 12 million bushels a year are processed in Pennsylvania. The rest are shipped out of state for processing or export. 

Perdue AgriBusiness will use excess steam supplied by the Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority (LCSWMA) as the primary heat source for the grain dryers, negating the need to use fossil fuels to heat the boilers and reducing the facility’s environmental impact. By using steam, there are no air emissions related to fuel combustion for the boilers. LCSWMA approved the steam purchase March 15.

Perdue AgriBusiness also has secured all local and county approvals for the project, which will be built on land adjacent to LCSWMA. Additionally, the Susquehanna River Basin Commission on March 21 approved the facility’s proposed water usage.

The DEP permit is for a grain elevator operation only. The grain elevator is designed to function as a stand-alone facility providing a centralized grain transportation and storage hub for surrounding soybean farmers. Perdue AgriBusiness also is planning to construct and operate a soybean processing facility adjacent to the grain elevator that would produce soybean oil and soybean meal. A grain elevator and a soybean processing facility at the same location will allow for on-site use of the grain and provide additional benefits to farmers. The soybean processing facility’s permit is still under review by DEP.

Perdue AgriBusiness already operates four grain receiving and storage facilities in Pennsylvania that purchase $148 million in local grain and other products from more than 2,000 farmers and local businesses. The company also sells feed ingredients and refined soybean oil to Pennsylvania food and feed processors as well as dry fertilizers and crop protection products to farmers worth more than $225 million.

The company received an $8.75 million Pennsylvania Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) grant for the grain elevator. The RACP grant is earmarked for overall site development work and construction of the grain elevator, exclusively.

The grain elevator and processing facility combined represent a $59 million investment that will generate more than 150 construction jobs, 35 long-term jobs upon completion and an additional 500 jobs in crop production and transportation. The grain facility will employ five full-time workers.


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