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Owensboro Grain Company
Edible Oil Refinery
Owensboro, KY

This $20 million oil refinery was constructed in 1994, and it produces in excess of 1.4 million pounds of vegetable oil a day at full capacity. Oil from the 14,000 square foot complex is used in the food industry for baking and food processing and for industrial products such as paint, plastic and ink.

Owensboro Grain, founded in 1906, operates grain elevators in Owensboro and Henderson, Kentucky, and a soybean processing plant in Owensboro. The company crushes about 100,000 bushels of soybeans daily and buys soybeans from numerous states. The new refinery does not increase the amount of soybeans used, but adds another processing phase to what the company is already doing. The new refinery uses oil that already has gone through a process to remove the lecithin, a sticky fluid derived from soybean oil used in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and food products. Owensboro Grain began processing lecithin in 1990.

An edible oil refinery consists of three major processes: refining and bleaching, hardening and deodorization.