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Epitome Energy $418M soybean crushing plant moves forward

Construction on a new soybean crush plant in Grand Forks, North Dakota, will start in spring 2024.

Soybeans Nishimura1123m Pixabay
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Epitome Energy is building a $418 million state-of-the-art soybean crush plant in Grand Forks, North Dakota, to serve the region’s soybean growers and meet the rapidly growing demand for soy products.

Using a solvent extraction process, the plant will process a projected 42 million bushels of soybeans annually.

According to reports, construction for the plant likely will start in the coming spring as Epitome Energy works to secure funding and air permits. On October 9, the Grand Forks City Council received updates and cost estimates about the expansion of public infrastructure — water and sewer lines and roadway improvements — to the future site.

The next major step for the city and Epitome Energy is entering into a development agreement. According to City Attorney Dan Gaustad and Epitome Energy CEO Dennis Egan, work is being done to finish the contract and an agreement could be ready for the council.

Soybean crush plant FAQs

The plant will be located on a 100-acre green field just north of Grand Forks and west of Hwy 29. 

The plant itself will be located on the southern edge of the site, and adjacent to a new railway circuit to handle rail shipments. The site will also house:

  • Seed, oil, chemical, and by-products storage
  • Loading/unloading facilities
  • Management offices
  • Road and vehicle infrastructure
  • Wastewater treatment
  • BNSF and CP rail access

The site includes access to rail and all necessary utilities. 

Fagen, Inc., headquartered in Granite Falls, Minnesota, has been selected as the engineering, procurement and construction contractor and design and engineering plans for the project have been drafted. 

Renewable fuel, foodstuffs and animal feed products

The plant will produce several raw soy products for use in renewable fuel, foodstuffs and animal feed. 

  • Crude degummed soy oil: 60 million gallons/year
  • Soybean meal: 940,000 tons/year
  • Soybean hulls: 84,000 tons/year 

    A large share of the plant’s oil will go toward use in renewable diesel fuels. Epitome Energy will also supply oil to food companies. The nutrient-dense oil can be used in a variety of foodstuffs such as margarine, tofu, and animal protein-substitutes.

    Finished soybean meal will serve several nearby markets, including the Manitoba hog industry, the Minnesota turkey industry and the surrounding dairy industry. Meal may also be supplied to food companies as a key source of vegetable-based protein and animal-protein substitute. A large share of Epitome Energy’s soy hulls will be supplied to livestock producers in and around the Grand Forks region.

    Epitome’s facility is projected to strengthen farmers’ basis for soybeans by 20 to 25 cents per bushel, create 50 to 60 permanent jobs, indirectly support an additional 800 jobs and generate over $300 million annually in new economic activity.

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