Farmers Co-op Mill and Elevator, (Carnegie Coop) officials, area cotton growers, industry leaders and representatives of government offices gathered Thursday, June 22 to celebrate the official kickoff of the construction of the new Carnegie Co-op Cotton Gin. Plans for the $3.5 million project began in the spring of 2017 when board members determined a need to increase productivity to meet the ginning demands in the area.
Cotton production in Southwest Oklahoma has steadily increased over the last decade with the best year being 2016 with the Carnegie gin processing 61,568 bales. Projections for 2017 indicate that production could increase by 50 percent to 100 percent. To handle increased production, anticipated to be between 90,000 to 120,000 bales in 2017, the Carnegie Farmers Coop sought opportunities of expansion.
The board reviewed three options: first, a new gin facility that would cost approximately $10 million; second, substantially modifying their current facility; and third, purchasing and relocating to Carnegie, Oklahoma, a complete updated gin facility.
After much research and deliberation the board decided that moving an existing gin to Carnegie Oklahoma was the best option because the cost of the project would be approximately one- third of the cost of a new gin, yet it would still meet the current and future needs of the area cotton growers.
MOVING AN EXISTING GIN
After locating an existing modern gin for sale in Mount Olive, North Carolina, a group of board members and management traveled there to inspect it. After weeks of working to prepare a plan of purchase, relocation and financing, management presented the opportunity to the board of directors. On March 7, 2017 the board approved the plan and relocation of the 45- bale-per hour Mount Olive gin to Carnegie. Since then, work has been underway to prepare the site for construction, dismantle and haul the gin equipment to its new site four miles north of Carnegie. The first of 30 truck loads began arriving June 7.
The gin equipment was manufactured in its entirety by Consolidated Manufacturing in 2001. It includes an unloading system, first and second stage drying and pre-clearing systems, three gin stands, a lint cleaning system, condenser and humidification unit, bale press system, mote press, IntelliGin system and other miscellaneous parts and equipment.
POTENTIAL TO EXPAND
The three gin stands have a 45 bale per hour capacity and the facility is designed to accommodate a fourth gin stand, which will increase capacity up to 60 bales per hour. The gin will be erected on 80 acres, four miles north of Carnegie on Highway 58. Plans are for the new gin to be operational by November 1, 2017.
Benefits of the new facility include, but are not limited to, increased productivity, lower labor and utility cost per bale, reduced maintenance and annual capital expenditures, and a reduction in environmental compliance issues.
“We couldn’t be more excited about what this project will mean to our area producers and for the future of cotton production in our region. The new gin will increase net operating revenue for the cooperative and substantially lower operating cost through improved efficiency”, said Jeannie Hileman, Carnegie Co-op Cotton Gin Manager. “We had a great turnout at our ground breaking ceremony. Numerous growers, industry leaders and representative from government offices helped us celebrate the construction of our new facility.”