Epitome Energy announces it has engaged Cappello Global, LLC as its exclusive investment banker to explore strategic and financial institutional funding alternatives to construct and operate a soybean crushing facility in Grand Forks, North Dakota.
The partnership between Epitome and Cappello is the latest step forward for the planned soybean crushing project, which remains on track to begin operations in 2025.
Once completed, the plant will have the capacity to process up to 42 million bushels of soybeans per year into crude degummed oil, meal and hulls.
Financial close in 2023
Dennis Egan, CEO of Epitome Energy, said with Cappello Global on board, the goal is to have financial close in 2023.
“We have received a lot of enthusiasm from the business and financial community already,” said Egan. “Cappello brings valuable expertise needed to help us deliver a soybean crush facility that will support farmers across the Red River Valley. I am excited to work closely with them to complete financing for this project.”
For many farmers in the Red River Valley, the nearest facility capable of processing their crop is over 100 miles away. Without nearby processing, soybeans in the Red River Valley are regularly among the lowest-priced in the country, because farmers pay higher transportation costs for their crop and are limited in the markets they are able to reach, said Egan.
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.
“We believe this is a great opportunity for North Dakota,” said Gerard K. Cappello, managing director of Cappello Group, Inc. “Epitome Energy’s facility will capitalize on the growing demand for soy products in a range of industries while improving access to processing for thousands of regional farmers.”
Ground breaking expected summer of 2023
In December 2022, Epitome Energy executed a letter of intent for a greenfield site just north of Grand Forks that features full access to rail, freeways and all necessary utilities.
Fagen, Inc. has been selected as the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) partner for the project. Fagen, Inc. is a leading EPC contractor in soybean processing plant construction, with three soybean processing plants currently under construction.
The Epitome Energy project is expected to break ground in the summer of 2023, with operations to begin in the fall of 2025.