NutraCea to expand in Phoenix; updates projects

by Eric Schroeder
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PHOENIX — NutraCea, a leader in stabilized bran nutrient research and dietary supplement development, said it plans to expand its Phoenix facility to 100,000 to 125,000 square feet from 50,000 square feet by the end of the third quarter. The announcement was part of an update on domestic operations provided by the company on Jan. 28.

Leo Gingras, chief operating officer, said the Phoenix facility expansion reflects strong demand for NutraCea’s products. He said the new facility also will include processing and packaging systems that will be used for unique customer requirements, including those in the baby cereal business.

"We are in the process of purchasing an existing building, and all of the equipment is currently being constructed," Mr. Gingras said. "We expect to begin installing this equipment during the first half of this year and to have the facility operational by the end of the third quarter."

In other projects, NutraCea said its Stage One Southern Louisiana facility at Lake Charles, La., is expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter. The facility will have the capacity to provide up to 30,000 tons of stabilized rice bran a year. The company’s Stage Two facility in Dillon, Mont., has been running at full capacity since the middle of the fourth quarter.

On Jan. 25, NutraCea reached agreement with Fortune Financing Overseas Ltd. to build a new flour mill in Indonesia that will incorporate new technology to stabilize wheat bran.

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