Soybean plant coming to Spiritwood Energy Park

Panel discussion at soybean council meeting

Great River Energy Vice President and Chief Market Officer Jon Brekke (right) discusses the efficiency potential of combined heat and power development on a panel that included (left to right) North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, North Dakota Soybean Council Chairman Tyler Speich, Minnesota Soybean Producers Board President Bruce Hill and North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring.

The Minnesota Soybean Processors (MnSP) announced they are taking steps toward the construction of a $240 million soybean processing plant fueled by steam from Great River Energy’s Spiritwood Station power plant.

The plant would be an integrated soybean crush facility and refinery, crushing 125,000 bushels of soybeans per day to produce soybean meal, oil and biodiesel.

“The [plant] will create value in the local community and beyond by creating 55 to 60 full-time jobs, supporting local service companies, vendors and suppliers, and supporting the soybean price paid to local farmers,” North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum said in a statement.

Once operational, the facility will be the third steam user at Spiritwood Energy Park, joining Dakota Spirit AgEnergy ethanol biorefinery and Cargill Malt. Great River Energy owns Spiritwood Energy Park Association with the Jamestown Stutsman Development Corporation.

MnSP owns and operates a soybean crush facility and biodiesel operation in Brewster, Minn., served by Nobles Cooperative Electric, a Great River Energy member-owner cooperative.

“We currently work with the Minnesota Soybean Processors through Nobles Cooperative Electric and are looking forward to helping them as they expand their operations to the Spiritwood site in North Dakota,” said Jon Brekke, Great River Energy vice president and chief market officer. “Having three steam users will help us attain maximum efficiency from Spiritwood Station, making it a great national example of how we can use combined heat and power to get the most out of the energy we use.”

A MnSP official also pointed out that with the use of steam from Spiritwood Station, the new plant would require half the water use of its operation in Brewster.

A number of state and local officials participated in the announcement, made during the annual Northern Soybean Expo and Trade Show in Fargo. N.D. Attendees included Gov. Burgum, Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring, Sen. Terry Wanzek, Sen. Robert Erberle, Rep. Craig Headland, North Dakota Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger, Jamestown Mayor Katie Andersen and Connie Ova of the Jamestown Stutsman Development Corporation.

The plant is expected to be able to receive new crop beans during the fall harvest of 2018 with the facility being fully operational by 2019.