USA- Epitome Energy, a developer of value-add agricultural processing opportunities, chose Cappello Global, LLC as its exclusive investment banker as they seek funding alternatives for a soybean crushing facility in Grand Forks, North Dakota.
Epitome Energy is investing US$418 million towards the construction, and operation of a soybean crushing plant, aimed at addressing the region’s limited processing options.
The plant is also sure to provide a market for area farmers and contribute to a reliable supply of raw materials for renewable fuel producers and food companies once it starts operations in 2025.
Once it becomes operational, the facility will have the capacity to process around 42 million bushels of soybeans per year, easing the processing burden for this crop in the Red Valley region.
In 2022, almost one-third of the soybeans in the global market came from U.S. farms, and this production could go even higher as demand for soy products increases globally.
However, without nearby processing facilities, farmers in the Red Valley region incur high transportation costs to facilities over 100 miles away and, therefore, make very low profits from their harvest.
The North Dakota soybean facility seeks to be a strategic partner in this US$130 billion soybean industry, easing the lives of farmers across Northwestern Minnesota and Northeastern North Dakota and subsequently creating 50 to 60 permanent jobs.
“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,” commented Gerard K. Cappello, managing director of Cappello Group, Inc.
To bring the project to fruition, Epitome Energy has identified Fagen, Inc. as the Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) partner for the project.
Additionally, Epitome Energy sought guidance from air modeling and emission experts at Stantec Inc. and is now working with the state of North Dakota and the city of Grand Forks to ensure that the soon-to-be-constructed facility meets all state and federal emissions regulations.
The soybean crush facility project comes as a consolation to Grand Forks and North Dakota after the region missed out on a multimillion wet corn mill project that was canceled over national security reasons.
Fufeng Group, the project’s owner, had planned to invest US$700 million into the facility that would process as much as 25 million bushels of corn a year.
The project’s close proximity to the Grand Forks Air Force Base however triggered some local concern about potential espionage.
If the project was given a nod, Fufeng would have been the largest foreign private sector investment in the history of Grand Forks and would bring in at least 200 jobs and millions in tax revenue.