Dakota Farmer

Investors hear the pitch to buy shares in fertilizer manufacturing plant to be built in North Dakota.

December 31, 2013

2 Min Read

By Lon Tonneson

There was "strong interest" shown in December, during a round of informational meetings, among farmers and others in investing in North Plains Nitrogen, says Darin Anderson, NPN chairman, a Valley City, N.D., farmer and president of the North Dakota Corn Growers Association.

"We were very encouraged," Anderson says.

NPN is trying to raise funds to build a $1.7 billion nitrogen fertilizer plant near Grand Forks, N.D. The facility would produce anhydrous ammonia, urea and UAN liquid fertilizers from natural gas. Primary markets for products would be North Dakota, South Dakota, northern Minnesota, Nebraska and the southern portion of Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

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The project was conceived to provide a secure supply of N-based fertilizer for the region, Anderson says. Fertilizer suppliers in the northern U.S. and southern Canada currently have to import N- based fertilizer from Egypt, Oman, Qatar, China, Saudi Arabia and other foreign countries. The time lapse from overseas production to arrival into the U.S.-Canadian market is in excess of 70 days.

Shipment delays, potential in-season shortages of some fertilizer products and long pre-payment terms creates an opportunity for NPN, Anderson says.

An additional driver for the project is the increasing supply of economically priced natural gas in North Dakota. The natural gas is coming from the oil wells in the Bakken.

The plant would employ more than 135 people and have the capacity to produce 2,400 tons per day of ammonia. Most of the ammonia will serve as feedstock for the downstream urea and UAN plants. Ammonia would also be sold for direct application.

NPN hopes to secure for the financing for the plant in 2014, begin construction in the spring of 2015 and have the plant online in the spring of 2017.

To see a presentation and to find a link to the investment opportunities, see http://northernplainsnitrogen.com.

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