IRVING, TEXAS — Butterball LLC and Darling Ingredients Inc. announced on June 1 that the companies signed a letter of intent to explore the construction of a poultry rendering plant next to Butterball’s Mt. Olive, NC, facility.

The new plant could process around 18 million lbs of material weekly through three lines. 

“Butterball has been a proud, long-time member of the Mt. Olive community, providing positive economic impacts, including jobs, for many in the area,” said Jay Jandrain, president and chief executive officer of Butterball LLC. “We’re excited to explore the potential environmental and safety benefits of an improved operating footprint at Mt. Olive.”

If permits are approved and the definitive agreement is completed, construction would likely start in early 2024 and be finished in 2025.

“Darling Ingredients is committed to supporting its customers and agricultural growth in North Carolina,” said Randall C. Stuewe, chairman and CEO of Darling Ingredients. “A new Mt. Olive rendering facility strengthens rendering reliability, increases capacity and provides a critical service that transforms this material into invaluable ingredients and feedstock for renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel.”

The proposed project brought praise from Steve Troxler, the North Carolina agriculture commissioner, who said it would help the industry in the state.

“As we continue to grow, so does the need for facilities like this one,” Troxler said. “Increasing our rendering capacity in the state provides us the ability to turn an otherwise unusable animal material into a useable product. This is an essential service for our agriculture community and greatly needed capacity to help meet demand. I wish Butterball and Darling Ingredients success in this endeavor.”