The firm will be teaming up with Sinograin, the Chinese state-owned grain company to build and operate the new facility in Dongguan, Guangdong Province. The venture is subject to government approval. The facility will have a daily processing capacity of 4000mt of soybeans, and will be connected directly to discharge facilities at Dongguan port via Sinograin's existing warehouses and conveyor systems. It will produce soybean meal for the livestock production industry in Guangdong and soybean oil for nearby urban markets, said Bunge. Construction of the plant, which will be located between Guangzhou and Hong Kong, is expected to finish in late 2008. Bunge will hold a 65 percent interest in the plant. The new facility is the company's first in southern China and fourth in the nation. "Combining Bunge's global supply chain and risk management expertise with Sinograin's domestic distribution network will make this plant an efficient addition to the Chinese crushing industry," said Christopher White, chief executive officer, Bunge Asia. "We expect the partnership between Bunge and Sinograin to make a valuable contribution to meeting the growing demand for food in an important region in China." In April this year, Bunge announced another joint venture in the Chinese soy market with the Thai-based Charoen Pokphand Group. The processing giant said that the agreement will grant it a majority interest in the running of a third soybean processing plant within the country, aided by Charoen's Chinese subsidiary, Chia Tai. According to USDA statistics, China's soybean meal and soybean oil consumption have risen at compound annual rates of over 11 percent and 15 percent, respectively, since 2000. The growth has been driven by rapid commercialization of the nation's meat and feed industries and strong growth in food consumption overall, said USDA.