Developers say they are on track to build a new $287 million soybean processing plant in North Dakota. It will be the first large dedicated soybean crushing facility in the state.
North Dakota Soybean Processors has raised about $68 million of the $90-$100 million it needs to break escrow. Minnesota Soybean Processors has put up $60 million. The farmer- and investor-owned cooperative will be the majority shareholder (54.5%) and the managing partner. Other investors have put $8 million into NDSP so far. Another $20-$30 million from investors is needed to break escrow. Developers would like to have about $120 million in equity to build the plant, according to Matthew Willard, a partner in The Funding Farm, which is helping to raise money for the NDSP. He spoke at the recent Northern Ag Expo.
Investor meetings will be held Dec. 11 in Valley City, N.D., at FEI, Inc.’s headquarters, 913 14th St SW; and Dec. 12 in Jamestown, N.D., at the Jamestown/Stutsman Development Corporation office, lower level, 120 2nd St SE. The meetings begin at 11 a.m. Additional investor meetings will be held afterward in January, February and March. See the NDSP website, ndsoy.com, for updates.
NDSP will have the nameplate capacity to process 42 million bushels of beans annually, or about 125,000 bushels per day. That’s about 17% of the 248.5 million bushels of soybeans North Dakota farmers produced this year. There are enough soybeans grown in the three counties surrounding the facility to supply the plant all year long, Willard says.
The plant will be located on an 80-acre site at Spiritwood, N.D., next to the malting barley plant and ethanol facility.
Willard says some of the advantages the plant have are:
• Proven management. MNSP currently operates a soybean processing plant at Brewster, Minn. NDSP will share management and marketing people with MNSP. MNSP already has already has buyers for some of the oil and meal that will be produced.
• Location. NDSP will be the closer to the West Coast and Pacific Rim markets than other major dedicated soybean processing plant in the U.S. It will enjoy significant freight advantages over the competition. NDSP estimates that 90% of the meal it produces will go to the West Coast and Asia to feed livestock. The food grade oil it produces will go to potato and other food plants in Idaho, Washington, Oregon and other states in the western U.S.
• Railroad access. NDSP is located on the Burlington Northern Railroad line. MNSP’s plant in Brewster is located on the Union Pacific line. The combination will allow NDSP and MNSP to reach different markets more efficiently than competitors.
• Low cost soybeans. The basis for soybeans is higher in North Dakota than anywhere else in the U.S. The plant will likely reduce the basis in North Dakota, but soybeans will still be cheaper than elsewhere in the county.