CHS Invests $26M in Fuel Supply Infrastructure

The company also plans to add four new shuttle train elevators in three states, which will enable faster grain transportation and increased access to the market.

CHS, Inc.-an Inver Grove Heights-based energy, grains, and foods company-on Wednesday announced plans to invest $26 million to expand and upgrade its refineries and fuel supply infrastructure in the Northern Plains region.

The company plans to undertake nearly a dozen projects in North Dakota and Montana over the next three years to expand storage capacity at its terminals, improve and expand truck loading facilities, enhance ethanol blending, and streamline loading technology systems.

“The customers we serve from our Laurel, Montana, refinery have experienced significant refined fuels demand growth in recent years, particularly for diesel fuel,” Jay Debertin, executive vice president and chief operating officer for the company's energy and foods division, said in a statement. “These investments support our long-term commitment as a reliable supplier of quality fuel products to our customers and will enhance the overall efficiency of our distribution system.”

In a separate announcement, CHS said that it plans to build new shuttle train elevators in Montana, Nebraska and North Dakota, with completion estimated over the next 12 to 18 months. The elevators will all be located on a BNSF rail line.

The company said with the new elevators, grain producers will enjoy faster grain transportation and increased access to the market, particularly to export customers served out of the Pacific Northwest. Construction could start as early as May 2011.

CHS is owned by farmers, ranchers, and cooperatives from across the United States, as well as thousands of preferred stockholders. It supplies energy, crop nutrients, grain, livestock feed, food, and food ingredients and provides business solutions including insurance, financial, and risk-management services.

CHS is one of Minnesota's largest companies based on revenue, which totaled $25.3 billion for the fiscal year that ended in August.