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Agriculture firms announce plan to build soybean plant near Casselton

The planned project is the second in the works for North Dakota. ADM announced plans to invest $350 million in the purchase of the former Cargill Malt plant at Spiritwood, North Dakota, demolish most of that facility and construct a new soybean crushing plant. ADM has said it hopes to have the facility running by harvest 2023.

Farm machinery harvests soybeans
Soybean harvesting gets underway Sept. 27, 2021, in south Moorhead.
W. Scott Olsen / Special to The Forum
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Covington, Louisiana — CGB Enterprises Inc. and Minnesota Soybean Processors on Wednesday, Dec. 22, announced that they have formed a joint venture for the construction of a state-of-the-art soybean processing plant near Casselton, North Dakota.

North Dakota Soybean Processors LLC, jointly owned by CGB and Minnesota Soybean Processors, will own and operate the new facility, which is expected to crush 42.5 million bushels of soybeans in the first year.

“This is an exciting project that has been in the works since 2019,” said Steve O’Nan, Senior Vice President, CGB Soybean Processing. “This state-of-the-art soybean processing plant is a commitment to North Dakota agriculture. Its strategic location will produce soybean meal for the livestock industry and food grade soybean oil to service the rising demand of food users and also the renewable fuel industry.”

An earlier announcement on the project to the Cass County Board of Commissioners indicated the plant would be east of the Tharaldson Ethanol plant.

“We are pleased to partner with CGB to build this facility that will complement our current operations in Brewster, Minnesota. 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,” said Jeramie Weller, General Manager, Minnesota Soybean Processors.

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The planned project is the second in the works for North Dakota. ADM announced plans to invest $350 million in the purchase of the former Cargill Malt plant at Spiritwood, North Dakota, demolish most of that facility and construct a new soybean crushing plant. ADM has said it hopes to have the facility running by harvest 2023.

In 2017, Minnesota Soybean Processors announced plans to build a soybean crushing plant at Spiritwood but was not able to assemble financing for the project .

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum in a statement expressed thanks to soybean growers, North Dakota Soybean Processors, the North Dakota Department of Commerce, North Dakota Department of Transportation, City of Casselton, Casselton Economic Development, Cass County Commission, The Harvest Group, Greater Fargo Moorhead EDC "and everyone whose dedication and hard work on this project made today’s announcement possible."

“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,” Burgum said. “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.”

Groundbreaking on the soybean processing plant is slated for this spring, with plans to have the facility fully operational in 2024, subject to various federal, state, and local permitting, infrastructure, and incentive approvals, CGB said in a statement. The project is expected to create 50 to 60 new jobs once fully operational.

“This is an exciting day for North Dakota agriculture with the announcement of intent to build a state-of-the-art soybean processing plant near Casselton,” Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said in a statement. “It is a unique opportunity to add value right here, provide a local market for North Dakota soybeans and boost economic growth in our state.”

“This is not only an important project for Cass County and the community of Casselton, but the economic ripple effect of this soybean facility will resonate throughout the agriculture community, bringing new market options to growers throughout the Red River Valley”, said Cass County Commission Chair, Chad Peterson. “For this reason, the county is committed to partnering to improve roads and critical infrastructure which provides the foundation for significant private investment. A plant of this size will become a huge revenue producer and employer and will provide a significant ROI for county taxpayers.”

CGB Enterprises Inc. is headquartered in Covington, Louisiana, and through its wholly owned subsidiary, Consolidated Grain and Barge Co., operates a network of grain facilities across the Midwest. CGB has an existing soybean processing plant in Mt. Vernon, Indiana, that was built in 1997 and recently underwent a significant expansion to increase its soybean processing capabilities. The company has additional grain elevator assets throughout the U.S. with access to rail, truck and barge transportation, as well as other complementary businesses within the agriculture and transportation industries.

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Minnesota Soybean Processors, a 2,300-member cooperative, has an existing soybean processing facility located in Brewster, Minnesota, that started crushing soybeans in 2003 and added a biodiesel refining facility in 2005.

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