DALLAS — April 20, 2020 — Dallas-based Panda Biotech LLC has contracted with an international equipment manufacturer for the construction of the largest hemp decorticator in the United States and believed to be the largest in the world. The 10-ton per hour decorticator is the first of two planned for Panda Biotech’s flagship industrial hemp processing facility to be located in Texas. At full production, the two decorticating lines for processing textile-quality, high-grade fiber, premium hurd and cellulose are expected to generate $30 million per year for Texas agricultural producers.
Panda Biotech’s top mechanical engineers, along with key members of the team, conducted a worldwide search to inspect equipment in operation and evaluate manufacturing capabilities to determine the best equipment for its first Hemp Gin™ facility. The purchase of the decorticating lines was based, in part, on the reputation and caliber of the selected company and the reliability of its equipment that has been proven successful for decades. Panda then worked with the firm’s engineers to “super-size” their existing line of decorticators. Once installed, each line will have a maximum processing throughput of 88,000 tons a year.
For competitive reasons, Panda has not named the manufacturer or country of origin of the Hemp Gin equipment.
“After thorough due diligence, and after achieving encouraging results on fiber that was processed on a smaller version of our line, we were able to confirm that this was the right equipment for our business model,” said Scott Evans, executive vice president of Panda Biotech.
The first decorticator is currently in production and on schedule to complete the preliminary phase of manufacturing in late 2020. Panda expects partial operations to commence in Q1 2021 and for the facility to be fully operational in the first half of the year. Panda Biotech will be entering into contracts with producers for the 2021 growing season.
Panda expects the manufacturing of the second decorticator to begin upon completion of the first line. This will increase the maximum throughput of the Hemp Gin to 176,000 tons of industrial hemp per year and serve as a redundant backup that will allow the facility to reliably operate on a 24/7 basis.
Panda Biotech publicly entered the industrial hemp industry in December 2019 announcing the planned development of its first Hemp Gin facility. The company had previously secured the rights to purchase a building in Lubbock County, Texas, in the town of Shallowater, that subsequently failed to pass inspection. Panda is currently evaluating three different facilities to house its industrial hemp processing center, all of which are located in the High/North Central Plains regions.
The company plans on building other processing facilities in Texas and across the United States as the market grows for fiber, hurd and cellulose from industrial hemp.
Posted April 20, 2020
Source: Panda Biotech LLC