CHICAGO — ADM and Marathon Petroleum Corp. marked the start of operations at their joint venture soybean processing complex, Green Bison Soy Processing, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Nov. 14 at the facility in Spiritwood, ND.

Green Bison Soy Processing is expected to help meet increased demand for renewable fuels, specifically renewable green diesel. North Dakota’s first dedicated soybean processing complex will source and process local soybeans, with the resulting oil supplied exclusively to Marathon as a feedstock for renewable fuels.

The complex will produce approximately 600 million lbs of refined soybean oil annually, enough feedstock for about 75 million gallons of renewable green diesel per year. The $350 million complex features automation technology and has the capacity to process 150,000 bus of soybeans per day. Green Bison Soy Processing began receiving soybeans in September and is in the commissioning and startup phase of processing soybeans for meal and oil.

“Sustainability is one of the enduring trends driving changes in structural global demand, and this investment helps position ADM, as a leader in our industry, to deliver on that demand,” said Greg Morris, president of ADM’s Ag Services and Oilseeds business. “The continued growth in demand for renewable green diesel presents a transformative opportunity for the oilseed industry, for producers, and for increasing the sustainability footprint of our transportation system, and we’re proud to join with Marathon Petroleum as leaders in that transformation. We’re excited for the start of production and look forward to working together to support sustainable solutions for the food and fuel industries.”

Under terms of the agreement announced in August 2021, ADM owns 75% of the Green Bison joint venture and Marathon 25%. The companies also anticipate working together to explore other opportunities for agriculture to support renewable transportation fuels.

“As we continue challenging ourselves to lead in sustainable energy, our joint venture with ADM not only strengthens our presence in North Dakota, but also gives us the opportunity to collaborate further with a world-class partner as we continue investing in a sustainable, energy-diverse future,” said Dave Heppner, senior vice president of strategy and business development at Marathon. “Green Bison Soy Processing’s Spiritwood facility is an important milestone in our ability to source and optimize logistically advantaged feedstock for our growing renewable fuels business.”

Juan Luciano, chairman, president and chief executive officer of ADM, spoke to the importance of biofuels in ADM’s Ag Services and Oilseeds business during a Sept. 18 presentation at the JP Morgan US All Stars Conference in London.

Luciano said the startup of crushing operations at the Spiritwood plant was expected to add about 1.5 million tonnes of crushing capacity to the Chicago-based company’s footprint, allowing for more production of low-carbon intensity feedstocks.

He said ADM needs to be cognizant of its customers’ decarbonization pledges, particularly as customers push for more plant-based material, and described the company’s ability to generate low-carbon feedstocks as “a very fertile area for ADM as we go forward.”