AGP presses ahead with biodiesel plant expansion

US agribusinesses AgProcessing (AGP) is pushing ahead with a $38 million (€35m) expansion of its Port Neal biodiesel plant in Sioux City, Iowa, according to media reports.

According to media reports in the Sioux City Journal, the company will also build a $90m vegetable oil refinery.

Construction on both projects is expected to begin in coming months, said Matt Caswell, vice president for member/corporate relations.

"We're still in the final engineering stages. We're fully committed," said Carswell, the Sioux City Journal reported.

Caswell said AGP would not disclose costs for the projects, but they represent "a very significant investment."

Completion is anticipated for 2017, the media journal maintained.

"This expansion reflects our commitment to the biodiesel industry and soybean farmers as we continue to invest in this important value-added market," AGP CEO Keith Spackler said in a statement last year.

The Port Neal facility was the nation's first commercial-scale biodiesel plant when it opened in 1996. The plant currently produces up to 30 million gallons of the soy-based fuel per year, and the upcoming expansion is expected to double production to 60 million gallons annually, Caswell said.

In November, Woodbury County and the state of Iowa adopted a package of incentives to help finance the biodiesel expansion, which is expected to create three new jobs.

The Iowa Economic Development Authority in Des Moines approved $308,000 in added incentives, with $24,000 in loans and $280,000 in increased tax credits.