VOLGOGRAD, RUSSIA — Cargill has begun construction of a new sunflower oil crush plant in the town of Novoanninskiy in the Volgograd region of southern Russia.  The company said it will invest more than $200 million in the facility, which will process up to 640,000 tonnes of sunflower seeds per year.

“Cargill is a significant participant in Russian agriculture,” said Andreas Rickmers, head of Cargill’s grain and oilseeds business in Europe. “We are pleased to make this investment as Russia is an important strategic market for us, and we continue to see excellent potential in the country’s agricultural sector. Our customers in the food and feed industry will benefit from this new reliable source of oil and protein meal.”

Mr. Rickmers said the investment is in line with Cargill’s strategy to focus on the growth and development of the company’s offering to farmers in Russia.

“The new plant’s capacity will ensure a local outlet for their crops,” he said. “This is an important part of our total offering, which includes a range of services, advice and financial tools. Our own success depends on the ability of farmers to run a thriving and prosperous business.”

The facility is expected to be operational in time for the 2015 harvest and will serve Cargill’s food and feed industry customers, both in the Russian domestic market and around the world.