Wichita Falls is a finalist for a groundbreaking industrial hemp processing facility from Dallas-based Panda Biotech, LLC.
“Wichita Falls is one of several potential locations under consideration by Panda Biotech as the home of the Panda Texas Plains Hemp Gin. This state-of-the-art facility will feature two 10-ton/hour decorticating lines that will process industrial hemp for fiber and hurd. Once operational, the facility will be the largest of its kind in the world. The incredible support from the City, County, Chamber of Commerce, and the Wichita Falls Economic Development Corporation has positioned Wichita Falls as a leading candidate. The company looks forward to finalizing its decision soon,” stated Scott Evans, Executive Vice President, Panda Biotech.
Last week the Wichita Falls Economic Development Corporation (WFEDC) preliminarily approved an incentive package worth up to $2.8 million to attract the project. On Tuesday, July 7th, the Wichita Falls City Council will vote on the proposal, initially presented to the WFEDC by the Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce.
“The company is considering a very short list of locations for this project. Approval of incentives does not guarantee that we land this project, but it does increase our chances. This cutting-edge facility would put Wichita Falls on the map,” stated Chamber President & CEO Henry Florsheim. “The Panda Texas Plains Hemp Gin will have an enormous potential to attract members and suppliers who will be needed to support a facility of this size. This project would not only diversify our industrial base, but could also add tremendous value to our region’s agricultural economy.”
For questions about this project, please contact Wichita Falls Chamber CEO Henry Florsheim at 940.723.2741 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who is Panda Biotech?
Panda Biotech, LLC is a first-mover in the emerging U.S. industrial hemp fiber, hurd and cellulose industry. The company is currently developing large-scale, industrial hemp gin facilities.
Panda Biotech’s executive leadership has extensive experience developing, financing, constructing and operating large-scale industrial facilities including natural gas, solar, hydroelectric and biomass energy projects. They have developed 22 projects since 1982 representing approximately $12 billion in invested capital.
The company has contracted with a leading, 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/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 $30,000,000 per year for Texas agricultural producers.
Once the project is built, Panda Biotech will engage key stakeholders in agriculture and academic institutions to expand the use of industrial hemp across industries.
Benefits of industrial hemp fiber and cellulose
Industrial hemp used for manufacturing applications is highly valued for its natural durability, rapid growth and environmental sustainability. The processed fiber and cellulose from industrial hemp can be used in the production of a multitude of products including textiles, a wide array of building materials, paper products, automobile composites, nanomaterials, bio-plastics and finishing products such as caulking, sealants, varnishes and paints. In addition, research indicates that hemp-based supercapacitors offer a less expensive alternative to materials currently used in rechargeable batteries for applications such as smartphones and electric cars. As a result, industrial hemp is poised to transform numerous multi-billion-dollar industries.
In May 2020, Panda Biotech donated 60 tons of free hemp fiber seed to help jumpstart Texas’ industrial hemp fiber industry. Texas A&M AgriLife was commissioned to conduct a research study on the data collected from growers across the state of Texas who participated in the seed promotion. They will also prepare a formal report that will be shared with the study participants.
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