Ont. co-op swaps corn supply line for ethanol plant

Corrected, April 30, 2015 — Farmer co-operative IGPC plans to switch to Thompsons from Cargill as the main corn supplier for its southwestern Ontario ethanol processing plant, starting this fall.

Thompsons Ltd. will start buying corn immediately for deliveries from Oct. 1 onward to the Aylmer, Ont. ethanol plant, IGPC (Integrated Grain Processors Co-operative) said in a release Wednesday.

Cargill, which in 2007 signed an exclusive deal for its corn origination services with IGPC before the plant’s opening, will continue making corn purchases and deliveries for the plant up to Sept. 30, IGPC said.

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“This change in no way reflects upon the performance of Cargill. They have been excellent partners,” Jim Grey, CEO for IGPC’s ethanol production arm, said in Wednesday’s release.

“We are making the switch to Thompsons as we feel they will be able to support the strategic initiatives we will be undertaking in the future.”

IGPC’s ethanol plant was commissioned in 2008 with plans to process about seven per cent of the province’s corn production. The plant today produces about 170 million litres of fuel-grade ethanol and 170,000 tonnes of distillers’ grains per year.

Cargill said at the time it had been contracted to supply over 350,000 tonnes of corn per year. IGPC said in 2007 it had picked Cargill for its “well recognized knowledge and expertise in sourcing the large steady supply of corn needed for our ethanol operation.”

While Cargill operates 30 elevators in Western Canada, its grain handle in southern Ontario includes just five elevators plus its terminal at Sarnia. Thompsons, by comparison, operates 11 grain elevators in southern Ontario plus one in Minnesota.

Thompsons president Dawn Betancourt said Wednesday the company is “excited to expand our originations footprint in Ontario” through the IGPC deal.

Founded in southern Ontario in the 1920s, Thompsons has been jointly owned by two U.S. commodity firms, The Andersons and Lansing Trade Group, since 2013.

Thompsons last month expanded its grain marketing reach in the region with a deal to buy Rannoch Grain of Rannoch, Ont., near St. Marys. That deal is expected to close by the end of June. — AGCanada.com Network

 

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