Bunge to build barge unloading operation at Alabama’s Decatur port
Bunge North America, the North American operating arm of Bunge Ltd., and has reached an agreement with Decatur Transit in Decatur, Ala., to allow Bunge to expand its grain merchandising operations in the U.S. Southeast by building a barge unloading and grain storage facility.
Gold Kist, the third-largest U.S. poultry company, also signed a supply agreement with Bunge.
Under terms of the contract with Decatur Transit, Bunge will lease the land at the port and build the facility, which is expected to be operational by September. The port of Decatur is located on the Tennessee River at mile marker 304.1 and has more than 2,000 feet of riverfront.
“Our agreement with Decatur Transit provides Bunge an opportunity to expand our domestic capabilities into Alabama using barge transportation, which is the most economically efficient way to ship grain,” said Bailey Ragan, vice president and general manager of River Grain Region for Bunge Grain.
The new facility will be capable of handling grain, grain products and dried distillers grain along with soybeans, soybean meal and soybean hulls. From the storage facility, Bunge will be able to load both trucks and rail.
“Our supply agreement with Bunge allows us to solidify our grain supply with dedicated freight,” said John Bekkers, president and chief executive officer for Gold Kist, in a May 24 statement. “This helps us maximize inventory and cash management and assures a consistent supply of grain at two of our most strategic feed mills.”
The Port of Decatur project complements other Bunge grain operations along the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers as well as Bunge’s soybean processing facility in Decatur, the company said.