Cargill partnering with Harris & Ford

by Josh Sosland
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EDDYVILLE, IOWA — Sodium hydroxide, hydrochloric acid and bleach will be produced at a new manufacturing facility to be built on a 10 to 12 acre site adjacent to the Eddyville corn wet milling plant of Cargill.

Midwest Chlor-Alkali, L.L.C., an affiliate of Harris & Ford, a chemical distribution company, will build the plant capable of producing about 100,000 tons of sodium hydroxide and 250,000 tons of hydrochloric acid each year. Cargill said ground will be broken for the new plant later this year. Production is expected to commence in early 2009.

Tim Harris, president of Harris & Ford, also will assume responsibility as president of Midwest Chlor-Alkali.

"With this project, our company moves beyond distribution into manufacturing," Mr. Harris said. "It’s a major expansion in scope for us, and we couldn’t ask for a more respected partner than Cargill to help us take this step."

Mr. Harris established Harris & Ford in 1994. Earlier in his career, he held positions in research and development and as a plant engineer with Diamond Shamrock Chemical (now Occidental Chemical Corp.).

The new plant will be one of several to be "co-located" with the Cargill Eddyville facility, which serves as a source of either water or feedstock for the other businesses. Midwest will receive its water supply and wastewater treatment from Cargill. Cargill will invest in pipelines to connect the two companies. Midwest Chlor-Alkali’s products are used as processing aids in corn wet milling and will be used by Cargill at Eddyville, its seven other corn refining plants, and other business units.

The relationship also is part of Cargill’s Supplier Diversity Initiative, which encourages employees to seek business development opportunities with minority-owned, women-owned, and small business enterprises. The intent is to help create diverse suppliers who have the size and capacity to provide at the scale Cargill requires.

"This project will increase Cargill Corn Milling’s spending with diverse suppliers by almost 40%," said Pat Bowe, president of Cargill Corn Milling North America. "More importantly, Harris & Ford’s reputation, vision, integrity and proficiency can only add value to our operations as the relationship grows."

Tim Thomas, Cargill’s director of supplier diversity, praised the long-term supplier relationship between Cargill and Harris & Ford, noting the challenge of finding "diverse suppliers in parts of the supply chain where few such suppliers operate."

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