Northstar Agri Industries, a subsidiary of PICO Holdings Inc., has become the first operational canola processing plant with integrated refinery in Minnesota. The plant is now fully operational, having ramped production up to 80% of capacity, and is shipping final product (refined canola oil and canola meal) to customers. The new plant has the capacity to process 1,000 tons of canola seed per day, producing food grade refined canola oil and canola meal.
Northstar is planning to operate the plant through mid-July 2012 with old crop canola seed. The company will then schedule a short shutdown to inspect equipment and make any needed adjustments. Northstar plans to restart the plant in mid-August processing new crop canola seed.