The move, which is expected to be complete in April 2007, will expand ADMs product portfolio offering to food oil customers, the company said.
The facility, located in Spyck, Germany, will start to crush sunseed as well as rapeseed.
This investment is an example of leveraging our core strengths in agricultural processing in order to create value and capitalize on changing consumer demand for food oils, said Mark Zenuk, ADM Vice President and Managing Director-Europe and Asia.
ADMs move is in line with an increased global production and consumption of these vegetable oils, as food makers continue to turn away from animal fats in favour of vegetable alternatives.
Indeed, rapeseed, palm oil and soybean, which are all experiencing strong market growth, have been forecast to account for 70 per cent of the US vegetable oil market alone by 2008, according to analysts Business Communications Company.
The latest figures released by the US Department of Agricultures Economic Research Service (USDA ERS) reveal that global production of rapeseed has increased from 13.06 million metric tons in 2001-02 to 16.59 in 2005-06. Global consumption of the oil has increased from 13.23 to 16.67 million metric tons respectively.
Sunflower seed production around the world was set at 7.48 million metric tons in 2001-02, increasing to 10.46 in 2005-06. Consumption increased from 7.52 to 9.84 million metric tons.
ADMs expansion in the European vegetable oil market follows similar moves by competitors in recent years. In 2005, US firm Bunge announced it would build its first sunflower seed crushing and refining plant in Russia. The move came after rival US oils competitor Cargill announced plans the same year to break ground on a Russian refinery for sunflower, rapeseed, corn, palm and coconut oil.
And in 2005, raised demand for rapeseed oil led ADM to expand softseed-crushing capacity at Oelmuhle Hamburg. The move invloved the conversion of some soy capacity to rapeseed capacity.
ADM has also recently expanded its European business in other areas. Last year, the company strengthened its position in the malt business with its purchase of French firm Lesaffre's 50 per cent interest in International Malting Company (IMC).
And just a few months earlier, ADM increased its chocolate production in Europe with the takeover of a plant in England, acquiring Classic Couverture from UK owners Edward Billington & Son.
Headquartered in Illinois, US, ADM has over 26,000 employees, more than 240 processing plants and net sales for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2006 of $36.6 billion.