In West Texas, Florida-based Plant Agricultural Systems (PLANT-AS) is moving forward with investments in Amarillo and Lubbock. PLANT-AS delivers both the physical and digital infrastructure to support localized fresh produce demand in all regions of the world. The company’s vision is to dynamically enable society’s transition to more sustainable methods of food production, distribution, and consumption.
PLANT-AS will develop a total of more than 1,100 acres of advanced Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) production in West Texas as a part of its phase one domestic operations roll out. The Amarillo Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) and the Lubbock Economic Development Alliance (LEDA) worked in partnership on the project.
PLANT-AS’ Amarillo project includes the development of 9 million square feet of advanced CEA production facilities on 400 acres at the Centerpoint East site. Fresh produce, including leafy greens and vine crops such as tomatoes, will be produced using state-of-the-art hydroponic technology. The company will invest a projected $510 million in the project, which will scale up operations over seven years to employ more than 700 full-time employees with an expected payroll of $35 million.
“We are excited about the decision by PLANT-AS to locate in Amarillo and Lubbock,” said Kevin Carter, President & CEO, AEDC. “The West Texas region plays a significant role in providing food for the nation, and I believe it was extremely important for our communities to work together on this project. Congratulations to Lubbock and Amarillo on what I see as a huge win for our area.”
In Lubbock, PLANT-AS’ operations will include 700 acres, where it will develop 13.3 million square feet of advanced CEA production facilities. The company will invest a projected $670 million here, and will scale up operations over 10 years to employ over 900 full-time employees with an expected payroll of $45 million.
“As the U.S. population continues to climb, and Texas doubles its population by 2050, the need for more domestic food is vital,” said LEDA President and CEO, John Osborne. “The expansion of PLANT-AS through this regional partnership not only helps provide food for our growing population, but more importantly provides certainty in our food security with cutting-edge technology that traces where and how food is produced. With a Tier One University known for its food safety research and graduate expertise, this expansion of PLANT-AS solidifies the Panhandle and South Plains as the premier region for safe quality food production.”
The PLANT-AS Distributed Network Production Site (DNPS) model spans multiple U.S. and International markets, including a planned North American build-out of 3,000+ acres of advanced CEA facilities in a multi-year roll-out, making its domestic footprint greater than the sum of all land currently dedicated to CEA in the US.
PLANT-AS’ advanced production facilities are modern data centers where Production Technicians will be supported by artificial intelligence processing the widest array of crop-cycle data ever available. The data collected and processed via IBM’s blockchain-supported system is the foundation of a digital infrastructure model that will transform the global food supply chain.
“The end-to-end impact PLANT-AS will have on existing food systems begins with the agricultural process and extends all the way through the consumer experience,” said Plant Director of Global Brand Representation, Sara Gaul. “We are thrilled to be a part of the economic growth in West Texas. Together, we are building infrastructure for the future, and people are at the core of everything.”