The Port of Brownsville’s grain elevator is nearing completion of its modernization and will re-start operations in support of South Texas grain farmers soon after following its grand re-opening event at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, December 15, 2016.
The renovation and modernization of the facility began in May 2016 undertaken by West Plains LLC, a grain elevator company part of the diversified BioUrja Group of companies.
The 50-year-old grain elevator has handled millions of tons of grain passing through the port in the past, and upon completion of its modernization it will be equipped for efficient and high-speed handling of grain through all modes of transportation – truck, rail and vessel loading and unloading. The renovated facility will provide storage for nearly 3 million bushels of grain, and in addition to the indirect economic impact on the region, it will add eight full-time, year-round jobs as a result of its day to day operations.
West Plains, which operates 26 grain elevators across four states, intends to link local growers to new markets for sorghum, corn, ddgs and other crops in Mexico and internationally via ocean vessels.
“The addition of the Brownsville Port facility to the West Plains asset base will bring critical markets to the West Plains customer base and allow for strategic growth of the company,” said Mike Rowan, President of West Plains.
Amit Bhandari, Chairman and CEO of the BioUrja Group added, “We are eager to get the grain elevator at the port going again; our goal is not only to return the elevator to its heyday but we see Brownsville as a launch pad for new energy commodity opportunities in the area due to its central location and access to the various modes of transportation.”
There is quite a bit of excitement regarding the re-opening of the grain elevator.
“The agricultural industry in the Rio Grande Valley continues to have a tremendous economic impact for the region,” said John Wood, Brownsville Navigation District Chairman. “We’re pleased that the partnership between West Plains LLC, OmniTRAX Inc., and the Port of Brownsville will benefit our local growers and connect them with new markets.”