HomeNewsPanda High Plains Hemp Gin Officially Opened

Panda High Plains Hemp Gin Officially Opened

What’s said to be the second-largest industrial hemp processing facility in the world was officially opened in Wichita Falls, Texas last week.

After nearly four years since the Wichita Falls site was announced and more than three years since partial operations were to commence, it’s all systems go at the 500,000 square foot facility. Construction was completed last year and the gin officially started operations in April this year.

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller was in attendance for the grand opening and was particularly enthusiastic about the contribution the facility will make to the lone-star state.

“We will lead the nation in industrial hemp!” Commissioner Miller said.

The gin is capable of processing  more than ten metric tons of baled hemp straw per hour. The biomass is being turned into textile-grade hemp fiber, hurd, short-fiber/hurd mix, and micronized hurd. Hurd comes from the woody inner part of the stalk of the hemp plant, which is often discarded or ploughed back into fields.

Panda’s process uses technology eliminating the use of water and chemicals, and the facility is powered by renewable energy – wind and solar power. The plant will also support much-needed jobs in Wichita Falls and will only utilise biomass that has been grown in the USA; supporting the nation’s farmers.

“Today, we celebrate the courage of entrepreneurs who said over and over again, we believe in you, Wichita Falls,” said the city’s Chamber of Commerce CEO Ron Kitchens.

And it works the other way around as well. Wichita Falls authorities got behind the project, even though it had more than its fair share of critics – and some doubted if the facility would ever be built given the delays.

“Bob Carter’s signature “no excuses” leadership style inspired the Panda Biotech team to persevere through a number of challenges including a global pandemic to arrive at this momentous day,” says the firm, referring to Panda’s CEO.

More than 225 officials, friends and colleagues from around the world gathered for the opening and quite appropriately, the ribbon used for the ceremony was made with hemp.

Learn more about the many uses for industrial hemp.

Gillian Jalimnson
Gillian Jalimnson is one of Hemp Gazette's staff writers and has been with us since we kicked off in 2015. Gillian sees massive potential for cannabis in areas of health, energy, building and personal care products and is intrigued by the potential for cannabidiol (CBD) as an alternative to conventional treatments. You can contact Gillian here.

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