MASSENA, N.Y. (WWNY) - A $54 million soybean processing plant is planned for Massena. It would serve north country and Canadian farmers.
Not a lot of farmers grow soybeans in the north country. In part, it's because they have to be trucked hundreds of miles away to be processed. But that could soon change.
“It's a soybean plant they're going to be developing...which is probably going to be around a $54 million project when it's completed,” said Vance Fleury, chair of the Massena Town Planning Board.
St. Lawrence Soyway Company will process soybeans into livestock feed. It will also produce soy oil for industry. Local farmers say having a nearby market should cut expenses.
“We will have local to take the beans here and they don't have to truck out or rail up in here. It's right in this area,” said Steve Teele, Teele Farms, Lisbon.
The plant would be at the former Alcoa East site near the bridge to Canada. A lease is being finalized. It would employ about 38 people. Local haulers should also get work. Construction would employ about 200.
Soybeans are a huge part of the U.S. farm economy and they may soon be a bigger part of our economy here in the north country as well.
Currently there is a shortage of storage for soybeans locally. The new processing plant could be in operation by next harvest season if all goes well.
“It's very positive. It's really a clean industry and a perfect utilization of this property,” said Fleury.
The Massena Town Planning Board has already granted the project conditional approval. The company may seek discount power and incentives from the state.