WARDEN, WASHINGTON, U.S. — The first unit train of canola seed for Pacific Coast Canola (PCC) arrived at PCC's facility in Warden, Washington, U.S., on the morning of Nov. 7.
The unit train was recently loaded at the Cenex Harvest States (CHS) facility in Milton, North Dakota, U.S., and then traveled 1,345 miles to Warden. The train and locomotive including its cargo of canola seed weighed 33 million pounds.
This train along with future trains delivering canola seed to Warden mark the beginning of a remarkable cooperative effort between PCC, Columbia Basin Railroad (CBRR), CHS, Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway and the Port of Warden.
PCC's Canola crushing and oil refining facility at the Port of Warden in Washington is the first and only commercial-scale canola seed crushing operation west of the Rocky Mountains, and is only one of two canola processing plants in North America using expeller-press technology.
Given the Port of Warden's central location on the Columbia Basin Railroad line and its close proximity to Interstate 90 in the heart of a multi-state region that is ideal for canola production, the PCC facility is well positioned to supply the expanding demand for canola products on the West Coast of the U.S. The plant has a processing capacity of 1,100 tonnes of canola seed per day, which represents approximately 40,000,000 gallons of canola oil and 240,500 U.S. tons of canola meal per year.
This first unit train shipment is the culmination of efforts that began in 2005 when a site at the Port of Warden (on the Columbia Basin Railroad line) was identified for a biodiesel facility, and then evolved into a canola seed crushing plant which produces canola oil. The plant began producing canola oil in January, but has ramped up production in the second quarter by receiving single railcars of canola seed from last year's crop along with some truck deliveries. The 2013 crop started to move in September and volumes by rail have steadily increased through September, October and November.
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