GRAND FORKS, ND. — The North Dakota Mill and Elevator has announced plans to increase the company’s daily milling capacity by 11,000 cwts a day. Already the nation’s largest flour mill, the expansion will increase the mill’s capacity to 60,500 cwts.
The North Dakota Mill is the only mill in the United States owned by a state, and on Oct. 22 the Industrial Commission of North Dakota approved a plan to add a 6,000-cwt durum mill and a 4,000-cwt spring mill. In addition, the facility’s D unit, with 3,000 cwts of daily milling capacity, will be converted to a spring wheat mill from a durum mill. With the conversion, the D mill will have 4,000 cwts of daily capacity.
When the project is completed, the North Dakota Mill will have capacity to produce 55,500 cwts of spring wheat flour and 6,000 cwts of semolina and will operate 10 milling units. The $23.5 million project is expected to be completed by the summer of 2021.
The Grand Forks complex also has 4 million bus of grain storage and, since 2017, has had the ability to handle 110-car shuttle trains. This past March, North Dakota Mill spent $8.3 million upgrading its scales and truck unloading facilities.
The capacity expansion will be the first at the North Dakota Mill in five years, or since the addition of an 11,500-cwt G mill, built at a cost of $38.7 million. The new milling units will be installed in the building completed in 2016.
Vance Taylor, president and chief executive officer, said the expansion will allow North Dakota Mill to “meet increasing demand from existing customers.”
At 60,500 cwts, the North Dakota Mill will be nearly twice as large as any other flour mill in the United States. The second largest US mill is an Ardent Mills LLC flour mill in Hastings, Minn., with 32,000 cwts of daily milling capacity. Eight other US mills have capacity between 26,500 cwts and 31,000 cwts.
With the expansion, North Dakota Mill and Elevator Association will remain the nation’s seventh largest milling company.