EL DORADO HILLS, Calif., Sept 25, 2006 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- NutraCea (NTRZ) , a world leader in stabilized rice bran (SRB) technology, announced today that it has completed the building and installation phases of its capacity expansion project in Dillon, Montana. The scheduled $2.5 million expansion, which included the addition of a new processing building as well as the installation of new equipment for both hydrated and dry SRB production was completed for $800,000 below the amount, previously budgeted. The commissioning of the new facility will begin October 15, 2006.
The just completed expansion will allow NutraCea's annual production capacity of Solubles and Fiber Complex to increase from 900 tons to 1,800 tons per year representing a new total annual sales capacity of $16 million solely from the Dillon plant.
Ike Lynch, NutraCea's Chief Operating Officer stated, "I am very pleased with the efficient way our staff responded to completing the expansion of the plant bringing it in significantly under budget. This, in conjunction with excellent cooperation from our equipment vendors enabled us to undertake an additional second phase expansion, which will further increase production capacity of our value added ingredients at this facility. "
The second phase expansion of the Dillon, Montana facility is scheduled to be completed by the end of June 2007 and will increase NutraCea's sales capacity based on full utilization and current pricing by more than an additional $3.6 million per year.
Additionally, the Company is still on track to complete its new SRB facility in Louisiana, anticipated to be operational and able to be accretive to earnings in January 2007. This new facility should add an additional 30,000 tons of SRB to the Company's capacity. The Company is also on course to follow this expansion with the completion of a second U.S. facility, previously announced, in the second half of 2007, which will add another 30,000 tons of SRB production and 3,600 tons of combined Soluble and Fiber production.
"We are also close to finalizing the details of a proposed new European plant operation and anticipate announcing more information on this within the next calendar quarter along with details of potential European customer commitments for the planned production," said Kody Newland, Senior VP of Sales and Marketing.
NutraCea is a world leader in stabilized rice bran technology. Through its wholly owned subsidiary RiceX, the Company manufactures as well as distributes products and food ingredients made from rice bran through its proprietary technology and processes. The Company has developed intellectual property to create a range of proprietary product formulations, delivery systems and whole food nutrition products. NutraCea's proprietary technology enables the creation of food and nutrition products from rice bran, normally a wasted by- product of standard rice processing. In addition to its whole food products, NutraCea develops product lines of health promoting "nutraceuticals," including natural arthritic relief and cholesterol-lowering formulas. More information can be found in the Company's filings with the SEC and you can visit the NutraCea web site at http://www.NutraCea.com.
Forward Looking Statements
This release contains forward-looking statements. Actual results may differ from those projected due to a number of risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to the ability of the increased production capacity to result in an increase in product production in the amounts anticipated, the ability of the Company to obtain increased sales sufficient to utilize such increased production capacity, and other matters specified in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These statements are made based upon current expectations that are subject to risk and uncertainty. The Company does not undertake to update forward-looking statements in this news release to reflect actual results, changes in assumptions or changes in other factors affecting such forward-looking information. Assumptions and other information that could cause results to differ from those set forth in the forward-looking information can be found in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the company's most recent periodic report.