TOMBALL, TEXAS — RiceBran Technologies has announced plans to double the capacity of the pearling mill at its MGI Grain Inc. facility in East Grand Forks, Minn., a project the company said will allow it to meet growing demand for North American-sourced, grain-based ingredients with a minimal capital investment and a limited increase in labor.
As part of the expansion, RiceBran said it will replace one of the mill’s main grain de-hullers with a new de-huller/pearler, a swap-out that will more than double the plant’s production capacity. Additionally, MGI will support increased throughput and quality with the addition of a color sorter as well as enhancements to the mill’s grain receiving, cleaning and conveyance systems.
RiceBran said it is investing less than $500,000 in the upgrades, which are expected to be completed later this summer. Minimal disruption to the mill’s daily operations is expected to occur during the expansion, RiceBran added.
“These upgrades will allow RiceBran to finally leverage MGI’s true potential expanding volume and process flexibility while enhancing product quality,” said Kevy Pray, business lead at MGI. “This will allow us to double the capacity of the pearling mill within the same building footprint, giving us the ability to meet increasing customer demands while navigating a tight labor market, with only a modest capital investment.”
Peter Bradley, chairman of RiceBran, added, “The demand for regionally-sourced ingredients and agricultural products is soaring given the uncertainty of the geopolitical environment and challenges in the global supply chain, and we are able to respond. Not only does MGI provide RiceBran with strategic options in the long-term as a source of new feedstocks for our high value ingredient business, this small investment in significant incremental capacity provides us with a unique opportunity to capitalize on the current macro-environment.”
News of the expansion sent RiceBran’s stock price soaring, closing at 72¢ per share on May 18, up 22% from the close of 59¢ per share on May 17.