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Green Bison Soy Processing breaks ground on soybean crushing plant

Gov. Doug Burgum along with Sens. John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer and Rep. Kelly Armstrong were present to celebrate the groundbreaking of the facility.

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Federal, state and local officials celebrate the groundbreaking of the Green Bison Soy Processing facility on Thursday, June 2. The $350 million soybean processing facility will be located at the Spiritwood Energy Park Association industrial park about 10 miles east of Jamestown.
Masaki Ova / The Jamestown Sun
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SPIRITWOOD, N.D. – The Green Bison Soy Processing facility is a four-for-one project that will help expand the nexus between agriculture and energy industries in the state, according to Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held Thursday, June 2, for the Green Bison Soy Processing facility. Gov. Doug Burgum along with Hoeven, Sen. Kevin Cramer and Rep. Kelly Armstrong were present to celebrate the groundbreaking of the facility.

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The North Dakota congressional delegation was present Thursday, June 2, at the groundbreaking ceremony of the Green Bison Soy Processing facility at the Spiritwood Energy Park Association industrial park near Spiritwood. Seated, from left, are Rep. Kelly Armstrong and Sens. Kevin Cramer and John Hoeven.
Masaki Ova / The Jamestown Sun

Green Bison Soy Processing is a 75%-25% venture between Archer Daniels Midland Co. and Marathon Petroleum Corp., respectively. The $350 million soybean processing facility will be located at the Spiritwood Energy Park Association industrial park about 10 miles east of Jamestown.

"This plant means more options for local soybean farmers," said Ken Campbell, president of North American oils, biodiesel and renewable chemicals for ADM. "It is a greater opportunity for ADM Green Bison to show our farmer community the wide variety of services and technologies to help growers thrive. It means good jobs and economic growth for Jamestown region and it means continued progress toward a lower carbon future."

Green Bison Soy Processing will process 150,000 bushels of soybeans per day into oil, meal and fiber. The oil will be refined, bleached and sent to the Marathon refinery in Dickinson, North Dakota, to be further refined into renewable diesel, Agweek reported in January.

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The facility is North Dakota’s first-ever dedicated soybean crushing plant and refinery and is expected to be online by the 2023 harvest.

Green Bison Soy Processing is expected to produce 600 million pounds of refined vegetable oil annually, which will be supplied to Marathon as a feedstock for renewable diesel, said Corry Shevlin, business development director at Jamestown/Stutsman Development Corp.

It is expected to employ about 70 permanent employees.

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Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., speaks at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Green Bison Soy Processing facility Thursday, June 2, at the Spiritwood Energy Park Association industrial park located near Spiritwood.
Masaki Ova / The Jamestown Sun

Hoeven highlighted four benefits of the Green Bison Soy Processing facility:

  • It benefits the farmers and the local economy. 
  • It helps supply soybean oil to Marathon’s refinery in Dickinson.
  • It makes good use of waste steam from Great River Energy’s Spiritwood Station. 
  • It ties into carbon capture, utilization and storage projects and sequesters carbon dioxide off the Dakota Spirit AgEnergy’s ethanol plant at the SEPA industrial park. 

Hoeven said it benefits local farmers because the market is local, they get a better price and have fewer expenses to get their soybean crop to the market.
“That is a huge benefit to all of our soybean farmers in this region,” he said.

He said Marathon’s refinery in Dickinson will have a supply of soybean oil when the facility becomes operational and will expand opportunities for Marathon in the future. He said the refinery in Dickinson began refining petroleum with a focus on diesel but the energy market for diesel bottomed out.

“All of a sudden there is a quarter of a billion-dollar investment out there that could be a stranded investment until Marathon decides they are going to make renewable diesel. Well, they need supply for that,” Hoeven said. “ … we not only keep the plant, it now has a chance to not only survive but grow.”

Hoeven said Spiritwood Station which is what can provide waste steam to the Green Bison Soy Processing facility. He said it provides revenue for Spiritwood Station but also reduces the cost of operating the Green Bison Soy Processing facility because it gets the waste steam at a better price.

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Together with Dakota Spirit AgEnergy’s ethanol plant, Green Bison Soy Processing will capture carbon dioxide, Hoeven said.

“So we are going to have carbon capture and storage, and it’s going to be close to the site so we don’t have any pipeline issues because it’s going to be right here,” he said. “So we also are walking into the future and leading the way forward on carbon capture and giving the market what it wants - both in transportation fuel where we’ve captured the CO2 as well as in food products and for the Marathon Petroleum refinery.”

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Gov. Doug Burgum touts the planned Green Bison Soy Processing facility during the groundbreaking ceremony Thursday, June 2.
Masaki Ova / The Jamestown Sun

Burgum said the facility is being built because of the local producers. He said Barnes, Cass, Richland and Stutsman counties are top-25 counties that produce soybeans in the U.S.

“This joint venture called Green Bison is going to be a game changer,” he said. “It is going to provide lasting benefits to our North Dakota farmers.”

Cramer said the groundbreaking is a celebration of the innovation of the state’s agricultural producers. He said the leadership of ADM and Marathon made a great investment in the SEPA industrial park.

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Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., speaks at the groundbreaking ceremony of the Green Bison Soy Processing facility Thursday, June 2.
Masaki Ova / The Jamestown Sun

“Thank you, thank you, thank you for making good investments in a good place with really good people,” he said.

Armstrong said smaller communities within 50 miles of the SEPA industrial park will benefit from having the soybean processing facility. He said central North Dakota has not grown.

“One of the ways they get to grow is because of things like this because we are bringing value-added agriculture,” he said.

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Rep. Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D., said the Green Bison Soy Processing facility will create opportunities for people in the area.
Masaki Ova / The Jamestown Sun

He said the facility locating in the industrial park will create more opportunities for high school graduates in the area to stay in their communities, get a job and build a career.

“You have the choice to stay,” he said.

Mayor Dwaine Heinrich said the Green Bison Soy Processing facility is a game-changer for the agriculture and energy sectors across the state. He said the groundbreaking ceremony wouldn’t have happened without the work of ADM and Marathon.

“It is our belief that we have hit a home run by your commitment to this project,” he said.

Masaki Ova joined The Jamestown Sun in August 2021 as a reporter. He grew up on a farm near Pingree, N.D. He majored in communications at the University of Jamestown, N.D.
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