ALDEN, IOWA, US — Summit Ag Investors and its portfolio company Summit Sustainable Ingredients announced on Dec. 6 that they have begun construction on a wheat protein (vital wheat gluten) ingredients facility adjacent to Prairie Horizon Agri-Energy. Summit acquired Phillipsburg, Kansas, US-based Prairie Horizon earlier this year. At that time, Summit said it planned to invest $200 million in the development of the ingredients plant.

Summit said the project is fully financed through capital commitments from private equity funds. ICM, Inc. and Todd & Sargent, Inc. have been enlisted as design builders.

Once the facility is operational in the summer of 2023 it will be the largest producer of wheat protein in North America, with approximately double the production capacity of any existing comparable plant in North America, according to Summit.

“We are excited to announce this important milestone,” said Bruce Rastetter, chief executive officer of Summit Agricultural Group, the parent company of Summit Ag Investors and the project. “Given the current need for high-protein ingredients are at an all-time high, we are committed to solving this challenge. As we engage with customers it is clear there is a major need for our project.”

In building the plant, Summit said it plans to use the latest technology available from best-in-class partners in milling, wheat protein production, and renewable fuels.

“In our evaluation of this investment, it was clear customers need a domestic source of high-quality ingredients that perform,” said Justin Kirchhoff, president of Summit Ag Investors. “Summit is well-positioned to address this need for high-protein ingredients that are affordable, safe, and non-GMO in the foods most Americans eat every day.”

Summit said it will use the residual waste starch generated from ingredients production and ferment the starch into low-carbon biofuel as a co-product resulting in significantly lower carbon intensity fuel compared to traditional renewable fuels.

“This project is representative of Summit’s commitment to the continued evolution of renewable fuels, food, and agriculture,” said Dave Vander Griend, CEO of ICM, Inc. “As an industry leader in renewable fuels, ICM is energized to be a key partner in this project.”

Jon Sargent, president of Todd & Sargent, added, “The milling component of this project alone is significant given the flour mill accommodates 30,000 cwts of design capacity, let alone the other aspects of Summit’s pioneering project. As a design-builder specializing in milling and slip-form construction, we are very happy to be selected as a strategic partner.”

In addition to the groundbreaking, Summit has named Steve Adams as chief operating officer and Steve Snyder as chief financial officer.