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SOYBEAN PLANT: A soybean processing plant, like this one in Volga, S.D., may be built in North Dakota.

New soybean processing plant for North Dakota

Minnesota Soybean Processors announces plans to pursue building a plant in North Dakota that would crush 20% of the state’s crop.

Minnesota Soybean Processors (MnSP) is looking into building a soybean processing plant in North Dakota.

At the recent North Dakota Soybean Expo, the cooperative announced that it had selected Spiritwood, N.D., as the site of the facility.

The plant — to be called North Dakota Soybean Processors — would use approximately 40 million bushels of soybeans annually, or about 20% of North Dakota’s 2016 production.

The plant could start taking soybeans in the fall of 2018.

The MnSP project is the second large soybean processing plant in the works in the Dakotas. In 2015, AGP announced that it was going to build a 40 million-bushel soybean processing plant at Aberdeen, S.D. AGP is a farmer-owned cooperative headquartered in Omaha, Neb.

MnSP’s announcement is exciting for North Dakota soybean growers, said Tyler Speich, Milnor, president of the North Dakota Soybean Council.

The plant would:
• create a new market for soybeans in North Dakota
• add value to soybeans
• likely decrease the soybean basis
• lessen North Dakota soybean farmers’ reliance on exports
• reduce dependence on railroads to move raw soybeans to export terminals or processing plants
• increase the amount of soybean meal available in the state to feed livestock

The plant would produce 900,000 tons of soybean meal and 490 million pounds of oil annually. Half the oil would be made into biodiesel and half would be made into food-grade oil.

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum made the announcement at the Northern Soybean Expo. “It is great news for our farmers and the entire state of North Dakota,” he said.

MnSP now plans to conduct a preliminary engineering and design study.

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