One of Brownfield’s most unique businesses is now operating around the clock after a few days down for maintenance.
Guar Resources received 20 million pounds of the beans this year, enough to keep the plant running 24 hours a day for the rest of the year.
“This season was very successful,” said Alex Muraviyov, General Manager. “Our goal was 20 million pounds and we got what we wanted. And the farmers got paid, so they are happy also.”
Most of the drought tolerant crop was grown around Veron and Knox city, Muraviyov told the Brownfield News, but some was grown locally.
“We had three farmers here this year and they were pleased with the crop and with our contract,” he said. “My instructions are to get as many people as we can around here to join us next year.”
The manager said the new plant, which was completed in the fall, is running well with some growing pains that were expected.
“We are still learning the machine and still training our personnel, but nothing that we didn’t expect,” he said. “It’s a great facility and we are very proud of it. Brownfield can be proud of it. There’s not another one like this anywhere in the world.”
The new plant has doubled production, a goal set by company managers two years ago when Guar Resources acquired WTG and brought it out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
COR Guar Holdings, LLC (CGH), a private investment fund based in New York, provided the funding necessary to complete a court approved bankruptcy reorganization plan.
Muraviyov said he’s glad to visit with farmers who are considering guar as a primary or secondary crop.
“It is a great rotation crop for this area,” he said. “We know there were some hard feelings in the past, but we want everyone to know that we do it right and we are here to stay.”
The beans are processed and divided into three portions, all of which are sold.
Hulls account for 27 percent of the process and sell for 10 cents per pound, mostly for feed.
Proteins are 43 percent of the processed product and goes for 12.5 cents per pound.
Splits — by far the most valuable part of the bean — are 30 percent of the process.
The company intends to tweak the plant process to increase the splits percentage, thus increasing revenue.
“We’re changing the economics of the process for our benefit,” he said. “The more splits we can get, the better off we all are.”
Montalvo told the News that is a portion of his three-part plan to profitability, which are:
1. Improve processing yield.
2. Upgrade the plant and sell higher quality guar gum powder.
3. Increase the capacity of the plant to reduce processing costs.
Guar Resources remains the only fully integrated guar processor in the United States.
GR’s main processing facilities currently operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Currently, more than 30 full time employees work at the plant.
Guar, a drought tolerant legume, is grown extensively in the Southwestern United States.
Guar products are used in a variety of industries including food processing, cosmetics and oil and gas production.