Soybean crush plant planned for west of Fargo, North Dakota

Plans have been unveiled for another soybean crush plant in the Northern Plains.

CGB Enterprises and Minnesota Soybean Processors say they have formed a joint venture to build a soybean processing plant near Casselton, North Dakota — 15 miles west of Fargo and approximately 150 miles south of the Canada-U.S. border crossing at Emerson, Man.

CGB and Minnesota Soybean Processors will operate the facility, which is expected to be operational in 2024, as North Dakota Soybean Processors, LLC. They say it will be designed to process 42.5 million bushels of soybeans in its first year.

“We are pleased to partner with CGB to build this facility that will complement our current operations in Brewster, MN. The combination of these assets well positions us to meet demand, domestically and globally, for meal and oil, while providing a consistent, competitive market for locally grown soybeans for local farmers,” says Jeramie Weller, general manager of Minnesota Soybean Processors, in a statement.

The estimated cost of the project has not been made public. Ground work for the plant is slated to begin in spring.

“This soybean crushing facility is another landmark investment in North Dakota agriculture, one that will add tremendous value for our soybean growers, create quality jobs and benefit all North Dakotans through greater economic activity and tax revenue that supports essential services and critical infrastructure,” notes ND Governor Doug Burgum. “Investments like this put more money in the pockets of our farmers by expanding local markets while also building connections between our ag and energy industries for further value-added activity.”

As for the players involved, Minnesota Soybean Processors is a 2,300 member cooperative that also operates a soybean crush plant and biodiesel refining facility at Brewster, Minnesota.

CGB — Consolidated Grain and Barge Co. — is based in Louisiana and owned by Japanese companies Itochu and Zen-Noh. Itochu also owns a 49.9 per cent stake in Manitoba-based pork producer Hylife Foods, while Zen-Noh owns the Western Canada-based grain handler GrainsConnect Canada together with GrainCorp of Australia. CGB operates grain handling facilities in the U.S. Midwest, including a soybean processing plant in Mt. Vernon, Indiana.

ADM, meanwhile, announced plans to build North Dakota’s first crush plant and refinery completely dedicated to soybeans earlier this year. ADM said the US$350 million facility will be capable of crushing 150 thousand bushels per day beginning in 2023. It will also be located west of Fargo, at Spiritwood — approximately 65 miles west of Casselton.

Minnesota Soybean Processors previously announced plans in 2017 to build a US$240 million soybean crushing plant at Spiritwood, but the group was not able to assemble financing for the project.

Related: What Will It Take to Bring a Soybean Crusher to Western Canada?