USA — RiceBran Technologies, a global leader in the development and manufacture of nutritional and functional grain-based ingredients for food and feed, has began a capacity expansion project at its core stabilized rice bran (SRB) facility in Mermentau, Louisiana, US.
As part of the expansion, which is expected to be completed in the third quarter, RiceBran said it will add a fifth extruder at the Mermentau facility. The company said it is repurposing equipment from one of its other facilities, which is helping to keep costs down.
RiceBran has also competed remediation of the company’s warehouse and distribution facility in Lake Charles, Louisiana, after it was damaged in Hurricane Laura in August 2020, an endeavor entirely funded by insurance proceeds, RiceBran said.
“These upgrades provide important redundancy and will allow our rice bran stabilizing facility in Mermentau to match the full capacity of our supply partner, who in turn has made investments over the past two years to minimize historical seasonal downtime,” said Garry Primeaux, core-SRB business lead at RiceBran.
“Together, with the remediation and enhancement of Lake Charles, these factors add significant overall capacity to our Louisiana operations, ensuring that we will be able to meet the rapidly growing demands of new and existing customers the companion animal market, with only a modest capital investment.”
The expansion is expected to increase capacity of the facility’s SRB stabilizing capabilities, enabling RiceBran to meet growing demand for North American-sourced ingredients for the companion animal market.
Peter Bradley, chairman of RiceBran, added, “The companion animal market is experiencing tremendous growth due to the high volume of people that acquired animal companions during the COVID epidemic.”
According to Grand View Research, the global companion animal health market size was valued at US$ 18.67 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.2% from 2021 to 2028.
“This growth has been further accelerated by the popularity of companion animals in higher-demographic households, and these new owners’ desire to feed their pets healthy and natural products,” Bradley said.
He concluded by saying that RiceBran’s investment at Mermentau, along with the remediation and enhancement of its Lake Charles facility, provides the company with a unique opportunity to capitalize on this structural shift in the industry.
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