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Syngenta Plans New Sweet Corn and Vegetable Seed Facility in Pasco, ID (TriCityHerald.com)

Date Posted: April 28, 2008

(April 23, 2008/TriCityHearld.com) -- Syngenta plans a new sweet corn and vegetable seed processing facility in Pasco, ID. The 130,000-square-foot plant will be located on 40 acres at the Port of Pasco's Processing Center, said Rose Reifsnyder, Syngenta marketing and communications manager in its Boise offices.

Construction is expected to be completed by fall, 2008. The facility will provide jobs for 27 full-time employees.

Jim Toomey, the port's executive director, said Thursday that port officials have been negotiating with Syngenta for more than a year, but nothing has been finalized. Reifsnyder said the new facility will replace the company's sweet corn and vegetable seed processing facilities in Nampa, Idaho, and Gilroy, Calif., which will be sold.

The plant will have high-tech equipment that allows the company to custom dry different seed varieties and also will handle the seed more gently, causing less damage and loss.

"This new plant will significantly enhance Syngenta's leadership position as a provider of high-quality vegetable seeds," said Dan Burdett, who heads Syngenta Seeds' North American vegetables business, in a company news release Thursday.

Syngenta also plans to shut down its shell pea and dry bean businesses in Twin Falls, Idaho, which will result in up to 50 employees being laid off or relocated.

Reifsnyder didn't have an estimated cost for the Pasco project, but said it was part of a $40 million to $45 million plan to improve quality and efficiencies in Syngenta's North American operations.

The company has a garden bean and snap pea processing facility in Othello, but there are no plans to close or sell that plant, Reifsnyder said.

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