Kenaf Industries of South Texas (KIST) is a vertically integrated company focused on the commercial development of products from Kenaf, an alternative annual fiber source. In addition to marketing kenaf seed to clients around the world, KIST has moved steadily to develop and market products containing kenaf fiber into a widening range of industrial and consumer markets.
Currently (2001), the company proudly produces and markets: K~Decking, an extruded composite lumber that is amazing durable; K~Bast, strong clean natural fiber replacement for fiberglass in several industrial applications like automotive trim and furniture; and BioKasing, a natural, biological lost circulation control for the world's oil and gas drilling industry.
The company grows and harvests (seed, fiber, and rotation crops) both on its own land and via contracts with local farmers. KIST owns approx. 2,000 acres near Lasara, Texas and in 2000 grew approx. 8,400 acres of kenaf with contract farmers and its own crew. A unique harvesting system has been designed and field-tested to bring the crop in. The kenaf stalks are first dried and then cut into billets and packed into large modules for hauling and storage. KIST has a modern agricultural operation complete with equipment specifically designed to deal with big and ornery Texas-size Kenaf. KIST has been increasing kenaf seed since 1981 and maintains a reserve sufficient for its needs and for external sales.
In 2000 the company completed a multi-million-dollar expansion and improvement of its unique fiber processing line. This world-class line is capable of processing more than 35,000 tons annually of kenaf stalks into a wide range of fiber products. In 2001, KIST added an extrusion line and a pellet mill to its processing operations.
The product potential for using kenaf is unlimited. Kenaf gives us a real choice between making products with traditional tree fibers and fiberglass or using an annual farm crop for fiber that does not endanger or deplete our forests and or threaten our environment. Kenaf is an annual hibiscus plant ... a member of the mallow family, which includes the well-known crops of cotton and okra. Kenaf is extremely environmentally friendly with minimal requirements for agricultural chemicals.
Fibers are used in two basic forms ... whole stalk and separated/bast fiber and core. Whole stalks are generally chopped or shredded and used to make a variety of products, such as newsprint. Shredding the stalks and running the material through the KIST processing equipment effectively separates and conditions the bast and core fibers.
Kenaf Industries of South Texas L.P. is located in Willacy County on a large track of prime farm land. Willacy County is a part of the Lower Rio Grande Valley ... the river delta of the Rio Grande River located at the southern tip of Texas. The farming operation and processing plant is two miles north west of Lasara Texas and 10 miles due west of Raymondville, Texas. The company is privately held.
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Kenaf Industries of South Texas L.P.
Route 2, #50 Kenaf Road
Raymondville, Texas 78580
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