WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — In July, Wichita Falls city councilors approved an incentive plan to encourage the hemp processing company Panda Biotech to come to the city.
Because of that plan and other factors, Panda Biotech has selected Wichita Falls as the location for what they say will be the largest hemp fiber processing plant in the country.
Panda biotech officials said the size of the old Delphi building on I-44, the agriculture in the area and city officials all played a role in helping them choose here for their historic facility.
Panda Biotech is coming to Wichita Falls. The industrial hemp processing company considered several cities around the state to place their processing center. But the agriculture in the area, the size of their new processing building, and the pro-business community of Wichita Falls, made this area the right place for Panda Biotech.
“The city put together a nice incentive package. So what we found is is that the community leaders really want to partner with panda biotech to create something exceptional. So that pushed us over the edge,” Panda Biotech spokesperson Bill Pentak said.
Panda Biotech plans to create 50 jobs in their facility that will be the old Delphi building on I-44 and have local farmers grow their product.
“$30 million or so a year into the farming community because all the industrial hemp will be grown locally. So we’ve got a new crop for farmers to make money from. And the company itself is gonna invest $110, $120 million in the facility and in our community,” Wichita Falls chamber of commerce president/CEO Henry Florsheim.
With the Texas department of agriculture beginning to issue licenses in the growing, handling, and processing of hemp and the hemp industry is projected to grow over the next few years, Panda Biotech could bring lots of attention and money to Wichita Falls.
“It’s exciting. You got area farmers, you got area industry, you got transportation. All these things are gonna be coupled together and positivity in Wichita Falls. That’s a good positive thing,” Wichita Falls Mayor Stephen Santellana said.
“The colonists grew industrial hemp and it at one time was the largest cash crop in Texas. And so this industry has been a long time coming. Panda has really been looking forward to this and it’s great to finally have a facility locked down that we know will meet our needs,” Pentak said.
Panda Biotech can now begin making their way to town to start building what they said will be the largest hemp fiber processing center in the country.
Partial operations are expected to begin in the first quarter of next year. Panda expects the facility to be fully operational by the first quarter of 2022.
WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Panda BioTech, the largest hemp fiber processing center in the United States has chosen Wichita Falls to be its new home.
Dallas-based Panda Biotech has selected Wichita Falls, to be the home of the largest and most state-of-the-art industrial hemp processing center in the United States.
The Panda Texas Plains Hemp Gin will also be the first facility in the nation to cottonize hemp fiber on a commercial scale for the American textile industry and export customers. In addition, Panda Biotech’s Hemp GinTM is likely the only facility in the world dedicated to both the processing and cottonization of hemp fiber in industrial quantities outside of the People’s Republic of China.
The world-class facility will position Texas and the United States as a globally recognized leader in the processing of sustainable hemp fiber and hurd for industrial applications.
The largest industrial hemp fiber decortication facility in the United States Panda Biotech has contracted for a 500,000 square foot facility and surrounding 97-acre campus that was formerly the home of General Motors’ Delphi assembly plant.
The company plans on installing the largest industrial hemp decorticating, or processing,
equipment ever used to separate the outer bast fiber from the inner woody core, or hurd. Panda
Biotech’s top mechanical engineers worked with a leading international equipment manufacturer
to “super-size” their existing line of decorticators.
At full production, the two 10-ton/hour decorticators are expected to process close to 300 million pounds of Texas-grown industrial hemp per year. The fiber will be refined for textile applications, and the hurd will be processed for a variety of industrial purposes. Panda estimates the two decortication lines will generate approximately $30,000,000 per year for Texas farmers.