SPIRITWOOD, N.D. — The Green Bison Soy Processing facility is a great example of North Dakota’s top two industries — agriculture and energy — working together to complement and grow both sectors, according to Lt. Gov. Tammy Miller.
Miller said the state will go from exporting 90% of its soybean crop to processing more than half of it here in North Dakota.
“This is truly the beginning of a new era, a new era for soybean growers in North Dakota,” she said. “No longer will they need to ship nearly all of their crop out of state. With this partnership between ADM (Archer Daniels Midland) and Marathon Petroleum (Corp.), those soybeans will be processed right here at home in North Dakota, processed into valuable soybean meal and into oil for renewable diesel, adding value to both agriculture and energy industries.”
Officials celebrated the completion of the Green Bison Soy Processing facility — the state’s first dedicated soybean processing plant — on Tuesday, Nov. 14, during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the facility.
Green Bison Soy Processing is a 75%-25% venture between ADM and Marathon Petroleum Corp., respectively.
The $350 million soybean processing facility is located in the Spiritwood Energy Park Association’s industrial park about 10 miles east of Jamestown. It is located near the Spiritwood Station electrical and steam generation plant and the Dakota Spirit AgEnergy Ethanol plant.
“This project is another example of exciting synergies,” Miller said. “The plant uses steam from Great River Energy’s Spiritwood Station that generates electricity and steam from lignite coal.”
Green Bison Soy Processing is expected to process 150,000 bushels of soybeans per day into oil, meal and fiber. The facility is expected to produce approximately 600 million pounds of refined vegetable oil annually that will be supplied exclusively to Marathon Petroleum as a feedstock to produce 75 million gallons of renewable diesel.
The Green Bison Soy Processing facility employs about 75 people.
Marathon Petroleum invested $500 million to convert a former petroleum refinery to a renewable fuels facility that primarily manufactures low-carbon diesel, said Reid Smith, vice president of portfolio optimization, strategy and business development for Marathon.
“This helps reduce the carbon intensity of our nation’s fuel supply in the carbon intensities of our operations,” he said. “We have more than 650 employees in the state of North Dakota helping to safely transport, store, process and manufacture various forms of energy that make our lives better. And of course right here in Spiritwood, Green Bison’s production will help provide our Dickinson facility with raw materials and needs to produce renewable fuel.”
ADM and Marathon Petroleum’s partnership takes advantage of each company’s strengths, said Greg Morris, senior vice president of Green Bison and president of ADM’s agricultural services and oilseeds business unit. He said both companies envisioned the full supply chain of renewable diesel, from farm to fuel tank.
“When you think about that integrated network, it also means that we have to focus on what we are really good at,” he said. “Farmers are really good at growing crops. We’re (ADM) really good at transporting and processing crops. Marathon was really good at producing fuels and distributing fuels to customers.”
Jamestown Mayor Dwaine Heinrich recalled when Ken Campbell, president of North American oils and biodiesel for ADM, told local officials in June 2021 that ADM will not let down shareholders, Jamestown, Stutsman County or the state.
“I’m pleased to congratulate all involved in making this day possible,” Heinrich said. “ … None of us are so naive as to think that this accomplishment was easy but at every step of the way you have lived up to your word, did what you said you would do and lived up to the challenge you created for yourself by not letting down your shareholders, Stutsman County, Jamestown or the state of North Dakota.”
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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