CHINA – Louis Dreyfus Company B.V., through a joint venture with Guangdong HAID Group has started construction of a new aquafeed mill in Tianjin, China.

The new mill will be built and operated by their joint venture, Tianjin Rongchuan Feed Co. Ltd. and will produce high-end aquatic feeds, including prawn feeds, as well as fermented soybean meal.

The plant, located on a 53,000-square-meter plot of land is expected to open by mid-2020, with an annual feed production capacity of 300,000 tonnes.

“We are very pleased to begin work on LDC’s first aquafeed facility in partnership with HAID, the world’s largest aquafeed producer,” said Margarita Louis-Dreyfus, chairperson of Louis Dreyfus Holding B.V.

“This latest development in China underlines once again the importance we place on partnerships, as we implement our growth strategy.”

The investment is part of LDC’s strategy to diversify downstream into more value-added products and HAID provides it an opportunity to grow in animal nutrition.

The partnership between LDC and HAID aims to develop the biggest aquafeed mill in North China and leverage the synergies from combining soy crushing and feed production activities in one location.

LDC has identified Asia as a prospective growth market, plus a focus on China which is the world’s largest supplier and consumer of aquafeed.

“With the increase in aqua product consumption, high-end aquafeed production has become an important part of our growth plans for the coming years,” said Hua Xue, chairman of Guangdong HAID Group.

“This joint venture with one of the world’s leading merchants and processors of agricultural goods offers an excellent opportunity to contribute to our mutual growth plans.”

Speaking on the development, James Zhou, head of North Asia Region at LDC, said: “As demand for protein rises in a number of markets and consumer demand for healthy meat alternatives grows in China, aquaculture represents an efficient and sustainable source of protein and our move into aquafeeds is consistent with that vision.”

As part of strategy to diversify and expand overseas, LDC announced plans to invest in the planned initial public offering of Leong Hup International, a Malaysian poultry and food firm.

It also opened a new oilseeds processing plant, Louis Dreyfus Company (Tianjin) Food Technology Company Ltd in China.