Pacific Coast Canola received its first unit train of canola seed on Nov. 7, with a delivery from a train that traveled 1,350 miles from the Northern Plains region to the new Warden, Wash. plant.
While the seed is sourced from other regions, the plant plans to receive the bulk of its canola seed from nearby as producers are convinced to plant the oilseed crop.
The train, along with future trains delivering to the plant, marks the beginning of a cooperative effort between the plant and the Columbia Basin Railroad, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway and the Port of Warden.
PCC's canola crushing and oil refining plant in Warden is the only such operation west of the Rocky Mountains, and one of only two canola processing plants in North America using expeller-press technology.
The plant is well positioned to supply the expanding demand for canola products on the West Coast.
With a capacity of 1,100 tons of canola seed daily, rendering 40 million gallons of oil and 240,000 tons of canola meal, the facility is expected to spend about $1 billion purchasing crops in the next four years.
"Having the ability now to bring in unit trains to Warden on the Columbia Basin Railroad line to service companies such as Pacific Coast Canola is helping establish the Port of Warden as a key location in eastern Washington to handle freight and it is pivotal for our economic development, and will provide low cost options which are critical for companies to competitively ship their goods to and from Warden," says Dale Pomeroy, Port of Warden commissioner.
In addition to the track PCC leases from Columbia Basin Railroad to accommodate unloading of up to 110 car grains, PCC has built several long rail sidings in Warden.
The 110-car trains supply enough canola seed to keep the plant operating for about 10 days.
For more on the Washington canola plant, be sure to see the December issue of Western Farmer-Stockman.