North To South, Food-Related Companies Grow In Texas

Producer Owned Beef plans facility in Amarillo; Kroger opens Customer Fulfillment Center in Dallas; Synthica Energy to build food waste-powered renewable natural gas facility in San Antonio.

In the latest in a cluster of food-related Texas projects, Producer Owned Beef, LLC will create a new beef processing plant in Amarillo. The plant will harvest 3,000 cattle per day and sell beef and beef byproducts both within and outside of Texas. The new facility will allow Texas cattle producers to access the value chain and keep hundreds of millions of dollars in Texas.

Producer Owned Beef’s project will create more than 1,500 new jobs and generate $670 million in capital investment. A Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF) grant of $12.2 million has been extended to the company. In addition, a Veteran Created Job Bonus of $8,000 has been offered.

“We are excited about the continued momentum of Producer Owned Beef with the Governor’s support through the Texas Enterprise Fund,” said Casey Cameron, CEO of Producer Owned Beef. “This further reinforces the Amarillo Economic Development Corporation and the City of Amarillo’s commitment to building our new beef processing plant in Amarillo.”

Producer Owned Beef Texas
Producer Owned Beef facility rendering

“‘Made in Texas’ is a powerful global brand and continues to attract investment from companies serving crucial industries,” said Governor Greg Abbott. “Producer Owned Beef’s selection of Amarillo for its new beef processing plant further reinforces the Panhandle as a leader in U.S. beef and beef production and will create over 1,500 new jobs and millions in investment for the region. We welcome Producer Owned Beef to Amarillo and look forward to working with the company to keep Texas the economic engine of the nation.”

“Beef and beef production are part of Amarillo’s culture and history, with nearly 28 percent of cattle fed in the United States coming from the Texas Panhandle region,” said Ginger Nelson, Mayor of Amarillo. “Beef is a staple of the Amarillo economy, and the addition of Producer Owned Beef, LLC, enhances Amarillo’s role in the beef industry on a national scale. The economic impact is monumental for Amarillo – a $670 million investment and more than 1,500 jobs with an estimated annual payroll of $120 million. This addition to our economy takes what has long been a strength for Amarillo – the beef industry – to another level and confirms that Amarillo is in an historic season of economic growth.”

“This project further positions Amarillo as a global leader in food processing,” said Kevin Carter, CEO of Amarillo Economic Development Corporation. “Being selected as POB’s location for operation signifies that Amarillo is and will continue to be an ideal location to do business.”

Kroger Opens Newest Customer Fulfillment Center

After three years of planning, design, and construction, grocery retailer The Kroger Company opened its newest Customer Fulfillment Center (CFC) in Dallas at the end of July. Big-D Construction – National Food & Beverage was awarded the project as the Design-Builder along with Architectural Nexus in 2019.

“Working with The Kroger Company on this unique project has been an amazing opportunity for Big-D Construction,” said Forrest McNabb, Big-D Construction President for National Food & Beverage. “This is Kroger’s fourth facility of this nature across the country, and we are one of only three contractors in the United States selected to build these specific automated warehouses. The success of this project is a testament to the ‘great work’ by the entire team.”

Kroger cfc DallasThe state-of-the-art, 492,000-square-foot warehouse facility includes refrigerated and non-refrigerated areas. The two-story building features four mezzanines, 31,000 square-feet of office space, and a 26,000 square-foot freezer, plus vehicle maintenance and van wash buildings. The facility utilizes proprietary technology solutions based on artificial intelligence, advanced robotics and automation.

“Kroger’s fast-growing seamless ecosystem takes the promise of zero compromise to the next level, with Kroger Delivery bringing the freshest food and quality ingredients to your own doorstep—when you want it, how you want it,” said Bill Bennett, Kroger Vice President and Head of E-commerce. “Customers can use or the Kroger app to check the weekly circular, select personalized digital coupons, search products by dietary preference and ultimately place their delivery order, saving time and money.”

Powered by the Ocado Group, the CFC will leverage advanced robotics technology and creative solutions to serve customers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Synthica Energy Plans Food Waste-Powered Renewable Natural Gas Facility

In northeast San Antonio, Synthica Energy, LLC will develop a new anaerobic digestion facility that will convert organic byproducts from food and beverage producers into Renewable Natural Gas (RNG).

Synthica Energy Dallas TXSynthica selected an industrial site located along IH 35 to ensure easy access to manufacturers in the region along with rail access. The project is expected to be completed in late 2024. It will produce approximately 250,000 MMBTU of carbon negative RNG per year, and process 200,000 tons per year of food waste that would otherwise end up in landfills and emit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

“San Antonio, as a major food production hub in Texas, makes perfect sense as a location for our food waste focused renewable natural gas facilities,” said Sam Schutte, Synthica Energy CEO. “Upwards of 30% of the materials currently going into local landfills has an energy potential that is currently wasted – and using our Urban Friendly Digestion model, we can process that material safely and cleanly into an untapped energy source. We are pleased to join the San Antonio manufacturing community in its efforts to achieve carbon neutrality in the coming years.”

“We’re proud to welcome Synthica and the 50 new jobs they plan to add to support their new facility in San Antonio,” said Tom Long, Managing Director, greater:SATX Regional Economic Partnership. “Synthica is making a smart investment here in our region where they can work in partnership with our robust food and beverage manufacturing cluster to turn waste into energy.”

The project, along with another recently announced facility in Houston, will be the largest anaerobic digestion facilities of their kind in Texas. The projects are part of Synthica’s aggressive expansion plan to scale its model to target markets in the next five years. Engineering and design for the facility is being performed by RETTEW, a Lancaster, PA-based anaerobic digestion engineering consultant.

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