LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Panda Biotech, a Dallas-based company, announced its first industrial hemp processing facility to produce high-quality, textile-grade fiber, and premium cellulose to be located in Lubbock County, Texas. Panda Biotech has secured the rights to purchase a 255,000 square foot processing facility in Shallowater, Texas.
The Panda High Plains Hemp Gin is expected to be the largest hemp decortication center in the United States and one of the largest in the world. Decortication in this instance is the separation of the fiber and cellulose from the stalk of the plant.
Panda Biotech plans on deploying the most technologically advanced, highest capacity and first-of-its-kind industrial hemp decorticating equipment ever used. The Panda Biotech Hemp Gins will be based on smaller versions of proven decortication technology that have been used throughout Asia and Europe for decades.
Scott Evans, executive vice president of Panda Biotech said, “Hemp fiber and cellulose will help manufacturers meet the needs of today’s eco-conscious consumers who increasingly require environmentally friendly products and services. As a result, hemp will be a game changer for both agriculture and industry for generations to come.”
The U.S. hemp industry was made possible due to the passage of the federal Hemp Farming Act of 2018. Panda Biotech was subsequently formed after the provisions of the Act were incorporated in the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill that was signed into law by President Trump on Dec. 20, 2018.
The global industrial hemp market is projected to grow from $4.6 billion in 2019 to $32 billion by 2022.
Officials with the company say the Panda High Plains Hemp Gin will be located at 7716 Hwy. 84 and plan for production to begin within a year.
The Mayor of Shallowater, Royking Potter, released the following statement:
“The City of Shallowater is excited to promote the cutting edge industrial hemp processing facility Panda Biotech is bringing to our community. The “Panda High Plains Hemp Gin” will not only generate new revenue with minimal effects on infrastructure, but it will also create new jobs in our community. This technology will also greatly benefit the agricultural industry and the producers in the West Texas region.”