ALDEN, IOWA — Summit Agricultural Group has reached an agreement to acquire Phillipsburg, Kan.-based biorefinery Prairie Horizon Agri-Energy.
Prairie Horizon is a renewable fuel corn ethanol producer that has been in operation since 2006. The plant has a nameplate production capacity today of 40 million gallons per year and employs approximately 30 people.
Summit will utilize this acquisition to become the largest wheat protein producer in North America by building a wheat protein ingredients facility and retrofit the existing corn-based ethanol plant to produce ethanol from wheat starch.
“Recognizing the rising demand for high protein ingredients and innovative feed products, coupled with renewable fuels that reduce our carbon footprint, this investment fits with what we have successfully done many times in Summit’s history,” said Bruce Rastetter, chief executive officer of Summit Agricultural Group. “We evaluated several sites in various wheat-growing areas and Prairie Horizon is ideally located. The wheat protein we will produce is a healthy ingredient used widely within baked goods, pet food and growing aquaculture feed markets. Today, wheat protein demand in the US is heavily reliant on imports and with consumers demanding more transparency about the origins of the food they eat, we see a real opportunity.”
The company plans to invest $200 million in the development of the ingredients plant and is expected to be operational within two years.
“We ran a thorough search across the US to identify the best site to execute on this strategy around plant proteins, which leverages Summit's legacy operating in the biofuels and agriculture sectors,” said Justin Kirchhoff, president of Summit Ag Investors. “Given Prairie Horizon’s direct access to abundant local wheat production and Kansas’ business-friendly environment, we believe we have a significant advantage. Our investment will bring additional jobs to rural America, increase the domestic supply of sustainable protein ingredients, reduce reliance on imports, and further reduce our carbon footprint through this proven process.”
The acquisition and facility addition is part of Summit’s focus on decarbonization at the intersection of the agriculture and energy industries. Summit Carbon Solutions, a separate portfolio company of Summit Agricultural Group, is working to develop the world’s largest carbon capture and storage infrastructure project.
Summit Agricultural Group is an agribusiness operator and investment manager with operations in the United States and Brazil. Summit deploys capital across the agricultural supply chain with a particular focus at the intersection of agriculture and renewable energy.