Epitome Energy is currently investing a total of US$400 million in a soybean crushing plant in the US which the company says will address the region’s limited processing options, improve markets for area farmers and support a reliable supply of soy products to food companies.
The plant will produce a range of soy products including more than 940,000 tonnes of soybean meal, 60 million gallons of crude degummed soybean oil and 84,000 tonnes of soybean hulls; as soybeans provide an important source of oil and protein in baked goods.
Almost one-third of soybeans in the global market were produced by US farmers; the soybean processing plant is expected to serve rising demand for renewable fuel, soybean oil, meal and livestock feed, as the company says the global market for these products is valued at over $130 billion.
Soybean oil is a commonly used raw material used globally as a food additive and cooking oil, and the most commonly used in the production of renewable diesel fuels. Demand is projected to rise as countries implement requirements to lower their greenhouse gas emissions from transportation.
For farmers working in the Red River Valley in North Dakota, the nearest facility able to process soybeans is over 100 miles away and without processing are regularly priced low, farmers have to pay high transportation costs and are limited to the markets they are able to reach. As a result, the planned crush plant in Grand Forks is expected to strengthen soybeans by 20-25 cents per bushel and process of 42 million bushels per year and up.
Epitome Energy has also said the plant will create 50 to 60 permanent jobs and indirectly support over 800 more in the Grand Forks area. Research released from the University of Minnesota Extension Center has projected a crush plant in the Red River Valley will create over $300 million in new economic activity.
The facility in question will be designed and engineered by Fagen, marking its fifth soybean crush facility to date. Processing equipment will be designed and built by Crown Iron Works, who designs and supplies oilseed extraction technology. The project is expected to break ground in the summer of 2023 with operations expected to begin in the autumn of 2025.
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