BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Agribusiness conglomerate Archer Daniels Midland Co. on May 10 announced that it will build a $350 million soybean crushing plant in North Dakota.
It’s the state’s first dedicated soybean plant, the Decatur, Illinois-based company and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum said.
Archer Daniels Midland said the plant and refinery in Spiritwood, in east-central North Dakota, would create 70 jobs and process up to 150,000 bushels of soybeans daily. It’s expected to be completed by the 2023 harvest.
“The plant will produce soybean meal and vegetable oil for food, feed, industrial and fuel customers, including producers of renewable diesel,” the company said in a statement.
North Dakota Agricultural Commissioner Doug Goehring said tentative plans call for the plant to be built at a former malting plant facility, and soybean oil from the plant would be shipped to a refinery in western North Dakota to make renewable diesel.
Goehring said Marathon Petroleum’s Dickinson Refinery recently was retrofitted to refine up to 12,000 barrels of vegetable oil such as from soybeans daily.
In a statement, Burgum, a Republican, called the planned soybean plant a “gamechanger for North Dakota farmers, adding value and expanding the market for this important crop closer to home while also supporting the production of products such as renewable green diesel right here in North Dakota.”
North Dakota ranked ninth in the nation in soybean production in 2020, producing more than 190 million bushels of soybeans, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service.
Cass County, home to Fargo, was the nation’s top soybean producing county as recently as 2018, and Stutsman, Richland and Barnes also have ranked in the top 20 soybean-producing counties in recent years.
The idea of building a soybean processing plant in Spiritwood is not new. Two years ago, the Spiritwood Energy Park Association began looking for another business partner to build a plant after a judge’s ruling gave the group a path to end its contract with the North Dakota Soybean Processors.
The soybean group filed a lawsuit after the energy park pulled out of the deal.
The industrial park also is home to an ethanol factory and a coal-fired power plant.