USA – Agricultural commodity processing company, Green Plains has kick-started operations of its high protein ingredient production facility located at its Shenandoah Biorefinery in Iowa.

The company revealed that it has also made the first shipment of the product from the facility destined for one of the premier ingredient processors and suppliers in the pet food industry.

“The completion of our first high protein ingredient production project represents a major milestone in our strategy to diversify our earnings and transition towards the creation of more sustainable high value products,” said Todd Becker, president and CEO of Green Plains.

“We can now provide a high-quality protein feed product to the pet and aquaculture markets, extracting additional value from each kernel of corn we process in order to meet the growing worldwide demand for protein and novel feed ingredients.

“Our initial shipments averaged 51% protein, compared to traditional distillers grains, which average 30%.”

The high protein feed ingredient is produced using Fluid Quip Technologies’ patented Maximized Stillage Co-products (MSC™) system which the company said adds a high value product to its portfolio.

According to a statement released by the company, the newly constructed MSC system at Shenandoah represents a US$38 million investment.

“We are excited to implement this technology across our platform and collaborate with our biotechnology partners to further increase margins and add value to the products we produce,” added Becker.

Shenandoah now has capacity to produce up to 50 thousand tons of high protein feed ingredients annually and has increased the annual corn oil production capacity at Shenandoah by 20%.

Green Plains said that the Shenandoah Biorefinery is now a complete end to end biorefining campus with the capacity to process approximately 28 million bushels of corn annually and produce 50 thousand tons of high protein pet and aquaculture feed ingredients.

The facility also has the capacity to produce 82 million gallons of low carbon, closed loop biofuels, 160 thousand tons of post MSC dried distillers’ grains and 31 million pounds of corn oil.