Associated Proteins Limited Partnership

Associated Proteins Limited Partnership

August 10, 2006 11:24 ET

Associated Proteins Announces Refinery Completion and the Planned Doubling of Its Ste. Agathe Plant's Oilseed Crushing Capacity

STE. AGATHE, MANITOBA--(CCNMatthews - Aug. 10, 2006) - Associated Proteins today announced substantial completion of the edible oil refinery project at its plant in Ste. Agathe, Manitoba. The project has been underway since last fall and its completion marks a major milestone for the company. The company expects to make its first commercial shipments of fully refined oil within the next few weeks.

"Over a year ago, we determined that in order to fully access the expeller-pressed edible oil market, we needed to be able to supply fully refined oil" commented Larry McNamara, President of Associated Proteins. He continued, "early interest from potential customers for our refined oil has been very encouraging. We expect to be running the refinery at full capacity by the end of the first quarter of 2007".

Associated Proteins' Ste Agathe plant uses a European double-press, purely mechanical process. This is in contrast to the North American standard oilseed crushing process which uses hexane in its operation. The Ste Agathe plant is the largest of its kind in the world. Built in 1998 by a previous company that ran into financial difficulty, it was never commissioned and it remained moth-balled until Associated Proteins became involved in late 2004. Since then, the plant has been commissioned and commercialized, several plant improvement projects have been completed, a fleet of tankers cars has been leased, and the oil refinery has been constructed.

"Our team of dedicated, capable employees has been hard at work over the last two years. In my 35 years of experience in the oilseed industry I have never experienced such a dynamic and highly charged environment. The entire team knows they are all contributing to a very special situation" observed Mr. McNamara.

Associated Proteins' Board of Directors recently authorized Associated Proteins to proceed with the detailed capital cost budgeting, scheduling and preliminary engineering required to double its crushing and refining capacity. When the plant was built in 1998, all of the infrastructure was installed to support an oilseed crushing plant twice the size. "We already have the gas supply, the steam boilers, the power house, the administrative facilities, the shipping and receiving facilities and the space inside our crush building to bring on additional capacity very quickly and very economically. Although we have just begun the analysis, our estimate is that we can double our crush capacity and build a second refinery for less than $20 million and have it operational by the end of 2007," commented Mr. McNamara.

Part of the study will also involve an evaluation of the company's options for the additional 45 acres it owns adjoining the plant site. The plant expansion will all occur within the boundaries of the existing site leaving all of the excess land available for future development. "Our board has tasked us with studying all viable alternatives for our adjoining lands including bio diesel, ethanol and additional oilseed crushing capacity. There are substantial opportunities in vegetable oil industry and in related industries such as alternative fuels, and our excess serviced property gives us the opportunity to participate if a business case can be made," stated Mr. McNamara.

Contact Information

  • Associated Proteins Limited Partnership
    Larry McNamara
    (204) 882-2565
    Associated Proteins Limited Partnership
    Peter Kozicz
    (204) 882-2565