DECATUR, ILLINOIS, U.S. — Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) announced on Dec. 19 that it is building a plant within its Decatur, Illinois, U.S. processing complex to further refine crude vegetable oil into an acidulated form that improves the nutritional value of animal feeds and can allow livestock feeders to use less grain in their animals’ rations.

ADM is investing more than $6.5 million to build the Decatur facility, which is currently slated for completion in the second half of 2014. It will have a production capacity of 800,000 pounds per day, and will include a new loading station for trucks and railcars. ADM already produces the ingredient commonly known as “acid oil” at refineries in Enderlin, North Dakota, U.S.; Quincy, Illinois, U.S.; and Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

A pound of acid oil contains approximately two-and-a-half times the calories of a pound of corn, which allows livestock producers to save costs by substituting acid oil for a portion of the grain normally used in their animals’ rations. Acid oil is also used in industrial applications, such as lubricants. The Decatur facility will produce acid oil from the raw soapstock that is a naturally occurring co-product of the vegetable oil-refining process.

“We at ADM are continually evaluating our process streams to determine how we can provide additional value to our food, feed and industrial customers,” said Ray Bradbury, vice-president of the company’s North American Oils group. “We’re confident our integrated business model and deep experience in acid-oil production will enable us to deliver a quality product that’s competitively priced.”