CHS, Aurora Cooperative to build grain shuttle loading facility
by Eric Schroeder
ST. PAUL, MINN. — CHS Inc. and Aurora Cooperative have formed Superior East, L.L.C., a limited liability company that will build and operate a high-speed shuttle loading facility near Superior, Neb.
The companies said Superior East will begin construction on the facility immediately with a target completion date about a year from now. The facility is expected to have storage capacity of 1,250,000 bus and will include a 120-car capacity circle track on the Burlington Northern Santa Fe line moving corn, soybeans and hard red winter wheat to markets west and south, including Mexico. Additionally, the location will provide a grain ground piling system, as well as 10,000-ton liquid fertilizer storage, CHS said. The site has ample room to expand both grain and fertilizer capacity.
Superior East, L.L.C. is a 50/50 joint venture with a governing board comprised of representatives from both CHS and Aurora Cooperative. It was formed under the recently introduced CHS Partnered Equity Program. This first-of-its-kind program allows CHS owners to unlock a portion of their equity in CHS to provide capital for an expansion project. Cooperatives participating in the program use a portion of their CHS equity as a contribution to a venture with CHS focused on helping their cooperative grow. Eligible projects include shuttle loaders, fertilizer hub plants, energy assets and other growth opportunities.
“By using a portion of our CHS equity along with additional CHS capital to build a next-generation ag multiplex, we will be able to provide the Aurora Cooperative farmer owners in southern Nebraska and northern Kansas additional access to world grain and fertilizer markets via the B.N.S.F. rail system,” said George Hohwieler, president and chief executive officer of Aurora Cooperative. “This significant expansion fully aligns with our vision to be a financially strong, innovative, and locally-owned agri-business.”
Lynden Johnson, executive vice-president of business solutions for CHS, added, “We are excited about the opportunity to come together with such a strong partner with the CHS Partnered Equity Program. The goal of the program is to help our owners grow by providing strong cooperatives like Aurora the opportunity to unlock a portion of their equity in CHS for projects that directly serve their farmer owners. We look forward to exploring other projects that would benefit our owners in Nebraska and other states in CHS trade area.”