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Premium Peanut Expands Orangeburg County, South Carolina, Shelling Plant

Premium Peanut, a grower-owned peanut shelling company, will invest $64.3 million to expand operations with a new production facility in Orangeburg County, South Carolina. The project is expected to create 130 jobs.

According to state officials, Premium Peanut’s new facility will provide more capacity and allow South Carolina peanut growers the opportunity to be a part of a cooperative model. This facility will build on the company’s existing model, creating maximum value of every peanut for its grower-owners. Portions of the new facility are expected to be operational by spring 2022.

“Premium Peanut is proud of the value we have been able to create for over 400 grower-owners, in addition to providing quality products to customers around the world. We are thrilled to expand our operations and establish our footprint in South Carolina,” Premium Peanut CEO Karl Zimmer said.

Founded in 2014, Premium Peanut operates one of the newest and largest peanut shelling facilities in the world. The company began shelling peanuts in January 2016, with about 140,000 tons in shelling capacity. Through investments, efficiencies and growth, the company now has a plant capacity of 300,000 tons, which is about 10% of the U.S. peanut crop. Premium Peanut has made additional investments in cutting-edge technologies and enhancements, and added an oil mill, which was opened in 2018.

“In addition to creating jobs, Premium Peanut’s new processing facility represents a dynamic value-added opportunity for South Carolina farmers. We’re thrilled at the chance to expand peanut production in the state and welcome Premium Peanut’s investment in our future,” Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers said.

The Coordinating Council for Economic Development has approved job development credits related to this project as an incentive.

“SC Ports celebrates the announcement of Premium Peanut’s processing facility in Orangeburg County. This investment provides new opportunities for South Carolina peanut producers to access international markets through the Port of Charleston. SC Ports is proud to connect South Carolina farmers to the global marketplace and further support agriculture export growth in the Southeast with our efficient operations,” SC Ports President and CEO Jim Newsome added.

Premium Peanut’s customers consist of the major snack, candy and peanut butter manufacturers domestically, as well as customers in more than 30 countries around the world.

“We are delighted that Premium Peanut has decided to sow new roots in a historic agricultural powerhouse like Orangeburg County. The company’s investment is an exciting opportunity for it to grow its fruitful shelling operation, and it provides our local workforce the prospect of being part of something that’s fresh for the community and at the top of its game in its industry,” Central SC Alliance Chairman W. Keller Kissam added.

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