Crookston is expected to gain up to 100 new jobs with the construction of a soybean processing plant.

Epitome Energy announced last week that Crookston will be the location of its newest plant.

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The plant will include a 21-million-bushel soybean extraction facility that would crush soybeans, separating them into meal to be fed to animals and oil to move on to the biodiesel facility. A 30-million-gallon biodiesel facility and a specialty soybean mechanical extraction plant that includes a specialty oil refining operation would also be on site.

"Northwest Minnesota has long been under-served in the area of value-added processing for the soybean growers," said Dennis Egan, owner of Epitome Energy in a release.

Millions of acres of soybeans are planted in the 10 counties surrounding Crookston, making it a strategic location for a project like this, Egan said. This plant would provide a year-round processing location for soybean growers and add value to the local economy.

Craig Hoiseth, executive director of the Crookston Housing and Economic Development Authority, said that the soybean plant will complement the goals of the city: bringing jobs and value-added agriculture into town.

The University of Minnesota Extension found that the project, once operational, will generate $322.8 million in new economic activity. The plant will directly support 80 to 100 jobs and could indirectly add up to 300 jobs. The plant will have an estimated payroll and benefits of more than $5 million.

Based in Red Wing, Minn., Epitome Energy is a developer of value-added agriculture processing facilities.

Construction of the soybean crush and biodiesel facility would begin in 2021.