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NDSP pulls plug on soybean crushing facility in North Dakota

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North Dakota Soybean Processors (NDSP) has been forced to abandon efforts to build a large-scale soybean crushing facility in North Dakota, US, after more than three years and $6 million (€5.5 million) of investment.

The decision on the plant, which was to be located at the Spiritwood Energy Park in Spiritwood, North Dakota, was made earlier in February.

“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,” commented NDSP president Bruce Hill. “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 totalling over $278,000,000 [€256,483,408] to fully fund the project, when the SEPA 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.”

Hill added: “We were disappointed in the decision and we went to court to try and build a plant at that site.” However, NDSP recently agreed with SEPA to dismiss its lawsuit with prejudice, which resulted in the decision to pull the plug on the Spiritwood facility.

“We are not done in our efforts,” Hill continued. “Our plant and site engineering is 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 a wholly-owned subsidiary of Minnesota Soybean Processors, a cooperative with over 2,300 farmer members, which owns and operates a large-scale soybean crush, feed and biodiesel production facility in southwestern Minnesota.

When completed, the new soybean crushing facility is expected to support around 60 jobs in the region, with an annual crushing capacity of 42 million bushels of soybeans. The facility would produce around 935,000 tons of soybean meal, in addition to 475 million pounds of soybean oil, for sale into domestic and export animal feed and soybean oil markets.

Soybean oil can be used as a renewable feedstock for planned and existing renewable diesel refineries in North Dakota and throughout the western US.