OMAHA, Neb. — Scoular has announced plans to invest approximately $50 million toward the construction of a new 105,000-square-foot freeze-drying manufacturing facility in Seward, Nebraska. The new plant is expected to serve as the foundation for the company’s new freeze-dried pet food ingredients platform and will be one of the first facilities in the United States to bring multiple phases of the freeze-drying manufacturing process under one roof for the pet food industry, Scoular said.

The facility will be owned and operated by an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of Scoular.

“For 126 years, Scoular has invested in the people of Nebraska,” said Paul T. Maass, chief executive officer of Scoular. “We are excited to build on this legacy and advance our strategy with a unique facility that brings all phases of the freeze-drying manufacturing process under one roof. It was clear to us following an extensive national search that Seward is an ideal community for us to join and grow together. We are excited to begin this process with the people of Seward.

“As the pet food industry has grown and expanded, so, too, has the need for quality ingredients. Pet owners increasingly seek protein-rich, nutritious and convenient products. Scoular has worked with pet food partners for years providing procurement and supply chain solutions. This facility will provide our pet food customers a simplified and efficient ingredient supply chain, while meeting the fast-growing demand for freeze-dried protein ingredients.”

According to Scoular, research shows that sales for the pet food freeze-dried market have grown at a 50% compound annual growth rate over the past five years.

Scoular said it expects to break ground on the plant at the Seward/Lincoln Regional Rail Campus in June. Construction is expected to take 14 to 16 months. Scoular said it hopes to have the facility operational by the early fall of 2020.

The new plant is expected to create nearly 100 new jobs, as well as an additional 50 indirect jobs.

Scoular said Seward was chosen for the location because it met several key criteria, including proximity to raw material suppliers, customers and employees, as well as strong community support.

In addition to procurement and sourcing solutions, Scoular offers blending, custom packaging/repackaging, risk management and logistics services for the pet food industry. The company offers a broad spectrum of ingredients from No. 2 yellow corn to specialized gravy dust mix, proteins and fats to starches and flours.

A 126-year-old employee-owned company with more than $4 billion in sales, Scoular has more than 100 strategic offices, grain elevators and processing facilities in North America, South America and Asia. The company’s more than 1,000 employees are engaged in the business of buying, selling, storing, handling and processing grain and ingredients as well as managing transportation and logistics worldwide.