Wichita City Council approves bonds for Cargill expansion

The Wichita City Council on Tuesday approved $38 million in industrial revenue bonds to help pay for Cargill's new biodiesel plant.

The plant, part of an $87 million project, is being built at Cargill's facility at 1535 N. Barwise, near 13th and Mead.

"We are thrilled Cargill wants to spend $87 million in our city," Mayor Jeff Longwell said prior to the unanimous approval.

Cargill currently has a soybean processing plant, a grain elevator and truck and rail bulk loadout operation at the site.

The site has produced vegetable oil, but it will transition to making biodiesel, said John White, facility leader for Cargill.

"We see it as a great growth opportunity and an investment for the area as well as for Cargill," White said.

The new plant should be completed by early next year, he said.

The project includes a new 20,000-square-foot biodiesel plant and a second 20,000-square-foot building for offices, loadout and storage.

As part of the expansion, Cargill will add eight employees with annual salaries of at least $80,000.

Industrial revenue bonds are used to finance the acquisition and construction of a broad variety of properties. State law requires the bonds to be issued by a government entity, which technically owns the property until the bonds are paid off.