Archer Daniels Midland Co. and Cargill have agreed to form a joint venture by which they would own and operate the National Vegetable Oil Co. in Egypt. The deal includes related commercial activities including a separate Switzerland-based merchandising operation that would supply soybeans to the crush plant.

Cargill is currently expanding the plant in Borg Al-Arab, near the northern Egyptian port city of Alexandria, from 3,000 metric tons to 6,000 metric tons of daily crush capacity. The companies say the plant will be able to produce higher-protein soybean meal while reducing the need for soybean meal imports into Egypt, according to a joint news release.

“The joint venture brings together Cargill and ADM’s operational and commercial expertise to meet growing local demand for higher-quality feed ingredients,” said Roger Janson, head of Cargill’s grain and oilseed business in Europe, Middle East and Africa. “This deal is part of our strategy to grow Cargill’s business across Egypt and the North Africa region and helps us better serve customers in the market with safe, affordable and nutritious food.”

The joint venture will be managed as a standalone entity consisting of equal ownership by ADM and Cargill, with a management team reporting to a board of directors appointed by the two parent companies. Its assets will not include Cargill’s grain business and port terminal in Dekheila, an extension of the Port of Alexandria, or the ADM-Medsofts joint venture at the Port of Alexandria. Each company will continue its separate business activities in the country and region.

“ADM is adding to its geographic footprint in regions of expanding growth, and we’re particularly pleased to continue to enhance our capabilities in Egypt,” said John Grossmann, ADM’s president, for oilseeds crush in the region. “Egypt is an important market where demand for high-quality soybean meal and oil is outpacing the rest of the world. By bringing together expertise and resources from two great companies, and by utilizing an existing facility and infrastructure, this joint venture would be perfectly positioned to efficiently meet growing Egyptian demand.”

The deal, which is not yet complete, is subject to regulatory approval.