Wisconsin sees increased interest in soybean crushing facilities

By | November 10, 2006
Wisconsin may be adding more soybean-crushing facilities to make way for increased biodiesel production in the state. A feasibility study completed this fall by the Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board determined that a soybean-processing plant in the region could successfully compete in the U.S. industry.

According to the study, Wisconsin grows enough soybeans annually to support an 80,000-bushel-per-day, or 26.4 million bushel-per-year soybean-crush facility. A plant this size would annually produce nearly 580,000 tons of soybean meal and 45 million gallons of soybean oil, the report noted.

In response to the study, at least three different soybean-crush facilities have been proposed in the state. Two of the plants are being planned in conjunction with a biodiesel facility. The other, an existing crusher, is looking to expand.

North Prairie Productions LLC (NPP) expects to start construction of a 45 MMgy biodiesel production facility in March 2007. The plant is proposed on a site adjacent to an existing rail and soybean storage terminal owned and operated by Landmark Services Cooperative. Landmark, an investor and partner in NPP, is planning a 30 million-bushel crushing facility, which would use 40 percent of the soybeans grown in Wisconsin.

"We chose that location so we could have our crusher next to us," NPP President Mike Robinson told Biodiesel Magazine. "The logistics are there, and the infrastructure is there." He noted that the biodiesel plant was sized to match the output of the crushing facility. Robinson said the crushing facility is expected to start up one year after the biodiesel facility starts production.

Badger Ag Solutions LLC has proposed to build a biodiesel plant and a soybean-crushing facility in Owen. One of the investors, Ted Brussow, of Northside Elevator in Loyal, said the crushing facility will use 5,000 bushels of soybeans per day to support 2 MMgy of biodiesel production. He added that the company hopes to complete construction by fall 2007.

Finally, Quality Roasting Inc. received a $97,500 grant from the state's Biobased Industry Opportunity Grant Program to more than double its capacity to produce soybean oil. Scott Rabe, grant recipient and founder of Quality Roasting, expects that by 2008, the plant will have the annual capacity for 1.5 million bushels of soybeans-enough to produce 1.4 million gallons of biodiesel.
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