January 5, 2016 / 5:08 PM / 2 years ago

Grain handler Viterra to crush canola at Washington plant

WINNIPEG, Manitoba, Jan 5 (Reuters) - Grain handler Viterra Inc, a unit of Glencore PLC, said on Tuesday that it has struck a supply and marketing agreement to crush canola at Pacific Coast Canola LLC (PCC), a plant in Warden, Washington.

A Viterra affiliate, Glencore Grain Investment LLC, has increased its ownership in PCC to 50 percent from a minority stake, for no cash consideration, Viterra said in a release. McKinstry Holdings Inc acquired the other 50 percent.

The deal adds canola-crushing capacity to Regina, Saskatchewan-based Viterra, which already has plants in Manitoba and Quebec. Canadian canola crushings for the 2015/16 marketing year are up 12 percent year to date.

Glencore, meanwhile, has said previously it planned to sell a minority stake in its agriculture business and other assets as it aimed to cut debt.

Legumex Walker, renamed LWP Capital Inc, built the plant, but said in September it expected to sell the facility and wind down the company, after PCC defaulted on a $54.6 million loan. U.S. crop handler The Scoular Company paid C$94 million for Legumex’s special crops division.

Legumex was hampered in 2014 by railway congestion limiting delivery of canola seed, and more recently weak industry margins.

Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Manitoba

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