• By Lynda Kiernan-Stone, Global AgInvesting Media

CHS and Aurora Cooperative Form Joint Venture Superior East LLC

Aurora Cooperative and CHS Inc. have joined to form Superior East LLC, a 50/50 joint venture under which the two companies will build a $28 million state-of-the-art high speed shuttle loader in Superior, Nebraska to benefit both parties. The joint venture will lease the loader to Aurora Cooperative, which will be in charge of all operations and management.

Aurora has a total of four shuttle loader facilities in Nebraska – two in Sedan and Grand Island, both served by the Union Pacific, one in Aurora served by BNSF, and the fourth in Superior. Aurora selected the Superior site for the shuttle loader facility due to it being in a location where BNSF lacked shipping volume.

Although shuttles usually began at 90 to 100 cars, and now can range up to 110 cars, the Superior site includes a 120-car loop track to allow for future increased capacity. The site also claims 1.25 million bushels of grain storage in 12 bins, 3.3 million bushels of ground-pile storage, and a 10,000 tons liquid fertilizer tank to be used by the cooperative’s agronomy unit.

The facility will benefit the grower-owners of the cooperative through lower transportation costs to both ports and interior feedlots, and the increased efficiency and throughput at the Superior facility will free up smaller cooperative facilities to handle segregated and ‘identity preserved’ specialty grains, creating a greater diversity in cooperative response to its growers.

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