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BEP prepares its Fiscal year 2022 budget, including a new facility

The Federal Reserve Board has yet to publicly submit to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing the currency print order for the fiscal year from Oct. 1, 2021 to Sept. 30, 20,22.

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BEP prepares its Fiscal year 2022 budget, including a new facility

 However, the BEP has submitted to Congress its budget request for fiscal year 2022. This request contains explanations and justifications for its planned activities.

The request includes a part of the agency's work that collectors don't often recognize -- providing technical advice and production services to federal agencies when they need counterfeit deterrence. Other areas of operation include printing plates and dyes, manufacturing inks, purchasing supplies and equipment, and storing and shipping products.

BEP requested funding for special projects. The Replacement Production Facility in Beltsville (Maryland) was the most important. It cost $897 million. In 2021, $30 million was allocated to contracts for hazardous building materials removal, demolition of old agricultural research buildings, and relocation of certain utilities systems. The replacement facility construction contract will be awarded as part of the new funding request. BEP claims that the new facility will lower its annual operating expenses by at least $38million through production and material handling efficiencies.

In the 2018 fiscal year, expansion of the Western Currency Facility, Fort Worth, Texas began. This was done to provide space and support for new equipment that will be used to produce the Catalyst series of currency. BEP states that Catalyst's focus will be on "the integration of strong and new security features." Construction close-out activities are $1 million.

The focus was on BEP's long-term collaboration with the Federal Government's Inter-agency Advanced Counterfeit Deterrent Steering Committee. ACD's objective is to develop and research improved security features for Catalyst notes. This request was reiterated. It will be primarily focused on innovative Federal Reserve notes security and anti-counterfeit technologies.

Another multi-year project is to retool the manufacturing process. This includes high-tech intaglio printing presses and electronic inspection systems. It also includes finishing equipment. To integrate Single Note Inspection technology, the $100 note-finishing line will be fully automated and upgraded. The new sheet-inspection process will replace the current one. According to the BEP report this will save money, reduce spoilage and be more efficient. To extend the life expectancy of existing presses, obsolete electrical and mechanical components will be replaced.

The COPE-PAK (Currency overprinting processing equipment, packaging) equipment that was used to age is being replaced by a new generation in processing technology. The new Large Examining & Printing Equipment (nsLEPE) will be able to print all denominations on 50-subject pages instead of 32.

In addition to a request for budget improvements, the budget also includes suggestions to increase the life of printing plates and other personnel initiatives.

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