Energy company seeks purchase option for Grand Forks Industrial Park landIf the purchase option is approved, Energy Partners LLC would have additional time to decide whether to complete the purchase from the city and build a 21,600-square-foot glycerin production facility on the site. The company expects the plant would employ 29 full-time workers when fully operational.
Energy Partners LLC, an Indiana-based renewable energy company, is interested in building a glycerin processing facility in Grand Forks.
The company has asked the city for a $7,500 six-month purchase option on eight acres of land in the city’s industrial park, reserving the land for potential future development.
If approved, the company would have additional time to decide whether to complete the purchase from the city and build a 21,600-square-foot glycerin production facility on the site.
The company expects the plant would employ 29 full-time workers when fully operational. Total capital investment in the project has been estimated at $6 million, but the final number could change depending upon a number of factors, including building plans and bids received for the work.
Energy Partners has offered the city $350,000 for the land, if it receives the purchase option and decides to build.
Greg Hoover, the city’s urban development director, said the potential sales price — which would total about a dollar per square foot — would be in line with comparable land sales.
Hoover has suggested the six-month purchase option, a second possible six-month option and the proposed $350,000 sales price be approved. The item will be taken up by the Grand Forks Growth Fund committee at a meeting Tuesday afternoon. If approved, it would move on to a Jobs Development Authority meeting on July 5 for final approval.
Mark Bateman, the CEO of Energy Partners, said the company already has the needed financing in place for the project. He said if the company receives an option on the land it would be able to move forward with determining the exact design of the facility and determine if the costs associated with building it are acceptable.
Bateman said Monday that Energy Partners has scouted other potential sites and that right now the Grand Forks location is the company’s preferred site.
Approval from the Growth Fund and JDA "would pretty well lock the deal down,” Bateman said. “We’re very interested in moving up there.”
Bateman said the Grand Forks site would be ideal because of its central location. The facility would process glycerin from a number of biodiesel plants within an approximately 800-mile radius.
Klaus Thiessen, the president and CEO of the Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corp., and Hoover said they don’t anticipate opposition from the Growth Fund or JDA to the purchase option or potential land sale.
The land in question is the largest remaining piece of land available in the city’s industrial park. An extension of South 48th Street from 17th Avenue South to 32nd Avenue South is expected to be complete this year, adding another approximately 125 acres of available land to the industrial park.
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