Plans abandoned for soybean crush facility in Spiritwood, ND

By North Dakota Soybean Processors | February 12, 2020

After more than three years, $6 million of investment and thousands of hours of management time, North Dakota Soybean Processors announced that it is abandoning its efforts to build a large-scale soybean crushing facility at the Spiritwood Energy Park in Spiritwood, North Dakota.

“We made every effort to build the first farmer-owned soybean crush plant in the State of North Dakota at the Spiritwood Energy Park site,” said Bruce Hill, Minnesota farmer and NDSP president. “We had the site and plant engineering completed, construction contract bids solicited, the air permit in hand, and we had assembled commitments and term sheets with producer partnerships and debt financing totaling over $278 million to fully fund the project when the Spiritwood Energy Park Association board voted last July to terminate our site contract to construct the first farmer owned soybean crush plant in the state at the Spiritwood Energy Park. We were disappointed in the decision and we went to court to try and build a plant at that site.”

Last week, NDSP agreed with SEPA to dismiss its lawsuit with prejudice, meaning its bid to build a plant at the Spiritwood site is over.

“We are not done in our efforts,” Hill stated. “Our plant and site engineering are portable, and our air permit can be amended. And we intend to move forward with our efforts to bring the first farmer-owned soybean crush plant to the state of North Dakota, it just won’t be at Spiritwood.”

NDSP is currently a wholly-owned subsidiary of Minnesota Soybean Processors, a Minnesota cooperative with over 2,300 farmer-members residing in more than five states that owns and operates a large-scale soybean crush and feed and biodiesel production facility in southwestern Minnesota, one of only a handful of direct, farmer-owned soybean crush facilities in the U.S.

When completed, the NDSP soybean-crushing facility would support an estimated 60 jobs in the region and annually crush 42 million bushels of locally grown soybeans and produce approximately 935,000 tons of soybean meal and 475 million pounds of soybean oil for sale into domestic and export animal feed and soybean oil markets, including with respect to the soybean oil serving as a renewable feedstock for planned or existing renewable diesel refinery facilities in North Dakota and throughout the western U.S.

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