GRAND FORKS, ND. — Epitome Energy plans to build a $400 million soybean crush plant near Grand Forks, where soybean production in the Red River Valley has grown over 300% during the past two decades.

Epitome has executed a letter of intent to build on a greenfield site just north of Grand Forks. The site features full access to rail, freeways, and all necessary utilities. The project is expected to break ground in the summer of 2023, with operations anticipated to begin in the fall of 2025.

The new plant is projected to process 42 million bus of soybeans per year and provide a reliable source of soy products such as 940,000 tonnes of soybean meal, 60 million gallons of soybean oil and 84,000 tonnes of soybean hulls annually. The plant will serve rising demand for renewable diesel fuel, biodiesel fuel, soybean oil, meal and livestock feed.

“Building our facility in Grand Forks will support further growth and provide a crucial piece of the puzzle for farmers looking to reach new markets amidst the growing demand for soy products,” the company said.

In 2021, Epitome Energy had selected a site in Crookston, Minn., for its crushing facility. The change in plans came after the permitting process for an air permit in Minnesota stretched on for 16 months, Dennis Egan, founder and chief executive officer, told the Grand Forks Herald newspaper.

The plant is expected to create 50 to 60 permanent jobs and indirectly support over 800 more in the Grand Forks area. Research from the University of Minnesota Extension Center has projected that a crush plant in the Red River Valley would create over $300 million in new economic activity.

The facility will be designed and engineered by Fagen, Inc., the largest green energy design-builder in the United States. The plant will be Fagen’s fifth soybean crush facility to date. Processing equipment for the facility will be designed and built by Crown Iron Works, a leader in oilseed extraction technology.

Based in Red Wing, Minn., Epitome Energy is a developer of value-added agriculture processing facilities.