On May 12, 2021, the Ohio Rail Development Commission approved a grant in the amount of $150,000 to Cincinnati Eastern Railroad (CCET) to provide rail service to a new facility in Batavia, Ohio. These funds will be used to help construct an 1,100-foot connecting track for a new Purina facility in Batavia. The track is the last piece of rail infrastructure needed to link CCET with the Purina facility and ensure timely, effective rail service. The track is estimated to cost approximately $910,000. This work is in support of the $550 million investment in the Purina facility which will have 300 employees when construction is completed. The company plans to be operational early 2023.
Purina is a globally known American subsidiary of Nestlé, based in St. Louis, Missouri. The company produces and markets pet food, treats and cat litter. After a multi-state site selection process, in late 2020 Purina chose to locate its new pet food facility at South Afton Industrial Park in Batavia, which was supported by $6 million in JobsOhio Economic Development Grant funds. The facility will manufacture numerous products and will be designed to be environmentally sustainable, aiming for zero net environmental impact by 2030 (both the facility and companywide.)
Rail is an integral part of this facility’s logistics chain. Served by the CCET, Purina will receive a significant amount of inbound grain via rail. The facility will have extensive on-site rail infrastructure. This CCET project is the access point to that on-site infrastructure connecting the Purina plant to CCET’s network.
James Nobbe, Vice President and Director of Business Development, CCET, said "Cincinnati Eastern Railroad, in conjunction with our partners at Norfolk Southern, is honored that Nestle Purina PetCare has chosen a location on our railroad to construct their new $550 million state-of-the-art pet food plant. We appreciate the continued support of the Ohio Rail Development Commission on this and other projects which have preserved and expanded rail service in southwest and south-central Ohio."
Matthew Dietrich, Executive Director of the ORDC, said “ORDC is happy to be able to help CCET make all the necessary improvements to connect the new Purina facility to the national rail network. Not only will this project provide Purina with better logistics but it will also help build traffic on a line that was once in jeopardy of being taken out of service. The Purina project is a great example of how rail served sites benefit Ohio’s site selection efforts.”
ORDC assists Ohio companies and communities in creating and retaining jobs by preserving rail service to existing shippers and providing rail service to new customers. In addition, the ORDC funds projects to improve railroad-highway grade crossings to increase safety to the traveling public. Please remember, when around railroad tracks always expect a train. Rail lines in Ohio are private property and trespassing is both strictly prohibited and extremely dangerous.
For additional information regarding this project or for additional information on ORDC, please contact Wende Jourdan at (614) 728-9497.