Food and agribusiness Cargill plans to build a US$90M state-of-the-art biodiesel plant with an annual production capacity of 60M gallons (272.8M litres) on the plot currently occupied by its Wichita, Kansas edible oil refinery.

Construction on the location – adjacent to Cargill’s oilseed processing plant – was scheduled to begin in December 2017 with production projected to start in January 2019, Cargill said in a statement on 21 September.

“This new facility will enable Wichita to be a competitive supplier in the biofuels market, bringing value to the suppliers and customers we work with, and connecting farmers with industrial customers by supplying quality biomass-based diesel,” said Cargill agricultural supply chain biodiesel commercial leader Pat Woerner.

The 3,900m2 facility would replace an existing oil refinery managed by Cargill’s global edible oils business, which would transfer its production to other Cargill facilities.

The company said it had invested significantly in oil and shortenings products and remained committed to the food industry.

Cargill supplies ethanol and biodiesel manufactured from a variety of feedstocks including corn, soyabeans, sugarcane, palm oil and biogas. It operates two other biodiesel facilities in the USA in Iowa Falls, Iowa, and Kansas City, Missouri.