West Plains LLC is the recipient of the Port of Brownsville’s 2018 Chairman’s Award. The award recognizes both the company’s investments and rehabilitation efforts of the port’s iconic grain elevator.
Presentation of the award came Dec. 4 at the port’s annual customer appreciation luncheon. More than 200 guests were witness to the award presentation by Brownsville Navigation District Chairman John Reed. Among those in attendance were local, regional and state public officials. Port tenants, and community and regional business leaders were also present.
“West Plains’ dedicated investments at the port allow for more quality job opportunities in our region and provide South Texas farmers the opportunity for their products to reach international markets,” said Reed. “We are proud to partner with a company that believes in the port and the people of the Rio Grande Valley.”
West Plains’ agreement with the port began in 2016 with restoration and operation of the grain elevator, with capacity to store three million bushels of grain. Since restoration efforts began, the investment by West Plains has reached $7 million in its facility. In addition, there are plans for another $9 million in 2019. The company also projects its railcar volumes to exceed 3,000 loads by the end of 2018. So far this year, it has handled more than 300,000 metric tons of grains. This includes yellow corn, dried distillers grain, milo and sugar.
“This award is the result of all the hard work and dedication our West Plains team makes to get the job done,” said West Plains CEO Amit Bhandari.
West Plains currently employs 22 people and utilizes about 200 truckers to regularly move its products. As part of the company’s Phase 2, it is partnering with the port to rehabilitate the bulk cargo dock in front of the grain elevator. This will make its facility marine export capable.
The Chairman’s Award is given annually, highlighting the achievements of port tenants. Consideration is given for business growth, leadership, job creation, customer service, innovation, safety and community involvement.