US agribusiness and food company Bunge has said that its European operating arm, Bunge Europe, has entered into a 50-50 joint venture with Estron Corporation to build an oilseed crushing plant in the port of Ilyichevsk, Ukraine.

The new plant is adjacent to the grain export terminal owned by Estron Corporation. The plant’s projected crushing capacity is 600,000 tons per year, and it is expected to be operational in early 2005.

“Bunge’s strategy is to be the leading agribusiness and food company in the higher growth markets. This investment reflects the confidence of the joint venture partners in the long-term agricultural potential of the Ukraine,” said Jean-Louis Gourbin, CEO of Bunge Europe.