USA- Epitome Energy, a prominent player in the agricultural industry, is making substantial strides with their latest endeavor—a cutting-edge soybean crush plant in Grand Forks, North Dakota. 

This ambitious project, slated to begin construction in spring 2024, is set to revolutionize soybean processing and meet the escalating demand for soy products and carries a hefty price tag of US$418 million. 

Positioned strategically in Grand Forks, North Dakota, the facility aims to serve local soybean growers while catering to the burgeoning market demand for soy-derived goods.

Employing a solvent extraction process, the plant is anticipated to process an impressive 42 million bushels of soybeans each year, which signifies a major leap toward efficient soybean utilization.

Reports indicate that construction for this expansive project is slated to commence in the upcoming spring, contingent upon securing funding and air permits. Epitome Energy is diligently working on the crucial aspects of financing and permitting to ensure a seamless transition into the construction phase. 

On October 9, the Grand Forks City Council received critical updates regarding the expansion of public infrastructure, a pivotal component for the plant’s successful operation.

The next significant milestone for both the city and Epitome Energy involves forging a development agreement. 

Collaborative efforts between City Attorney Dan Gaustad and Epitome Energy CEO Dennis Egan are underway to finalize the contract, potentially bringing the agreement before the council in due course.

The plant will boast a range of facilities including seed, oil, chemical, and by-products storage, loading/unloading facilities, management offices, and essential road and vehicle infrastructure. 

Additionally, it will feature wastewater treatment and provide convenient BNSF and CP rail access, ensuring seamless operations.

Multi-pronged product output

The plant is set to be a powerhouse of soy-based product output, catering to various sectors including renewable fuel, foodstuffs, and animal feed. 

The expected annual production includes crude degummed soy oil at 60 million gallons/year, soybean meal at 940,000 tons/year, and soybean hulls at 84,000 tons/year.

A significant portion of the plant’s oil will be earmarked for renewable diesel fuels, highlighting Epitome Energy’s dedication to sustainable practices. Moreover, the nutrient-rich soy oil will find its way into an array of foodstuffs like margarine, tofu, and animal protein substitutes.

The finished soybean meal is destined to meet the needs of numerous markets, benefiting the Manitoba hog industry, the Minnesota turkey industry, and the local dairy industry. 

It will also serve as a key source of vegetable-based protein and animal-protein substitutes for food companies. The soy hulls produced by Epitome Energy are expected to support livestock producers in and around the Grand Forks region.

Epitome Energy’s ambitious venture is projected to have a profound impact on the agricultural landscape, significantly bolstering soybean farmers’ basis by 20 to 25 cents per bushel. 

Moreover, the plant’s operations are set to create 50 to 60 permanent jobs and indirectly support an additional 800 jobs. The anticipated economic contribution is a staggering US$300 million annually, underscoring the transformative potential of this monumental project.

Epitome Energy’s Grand Forks soybean crushing plant represents a paradigm shift in soybean processing, demonstrating the fusion of innovative technology and agricultural prowess.