FARGO, N.D., Oct. 29, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- On October 29th, 2012, Northstar Agri Industries, a subsidiary of PICO Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq:PICO), announced plans to build a Canola processing facility in Enid Oklahoma. Subject to receiving all required regulatory approvals, commitment of debt financing, and completion of remaining due diligence, construction is expected to be completed prior to the Canola harvest in June 2015.
Northstar's proposed facility would have the capacity to process 2,200 US tons of Canola per day or 760,000 tons per year, and will include a full refinery capable of producing 580 million pounds of food grade refined Canola oil and 450,000 tons of Canola meal annually. This significant investment in Oklahoma will create approximately 55 permanent full time jobs with a total annual payroll of approximately $3.75 million.
"This project is a tremendous opportunity for Oklahoma's agriculture sector," said Brent Kisling, Enid Area Regional Business Development Manager. "The addition of a value-added Canola processing plant in Oklahoma will provide regional farmers with a much needed local market to support continued acreage growth. I believe winter Canola production is a game changer for Oklahoma agriculture, providing a much needed rotation crop, improving winter wheat yields and quality while increasing and diversifying farm income. We are excited to work with Northstar to bring a new Canola processing plant to the Enid area."
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin welcomed Northstar by saying, "Oklahoma has a priority of supporting the growth and expansion of our strong Agricultural and Biosciences sector. I would like to personally welcome Northstar Agri Industries as a new member of our Ag Bio family in Enid."
Northstar's President and Chief Operating Officer, Neil Juhnke, commented: "Oklahoma is a natural fit for us to expand and build upon the success of our Minnesota plant, leveraging the core competencies and strategic relationships we have developed at Northstar. We are excited about the opportunity to partner with Southern Great Plains farmers to supply U.S. consumers and livestock producers with naturally heart healthy Canola oil and Canola meal. We look forward to working with state of Oklahoma, the city of Enid, and regional Canola producers and elevators to realize this exciting opportunity."