North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and leaders of Minnesota Soybean Processors (MnSP) and its subsidiary, North Dakota Soybean Processors (NDSP), in early February announced MnSP is taking steps toward construction of a $240 million soybean processing plant – the first of its kind in North Dakota – at Spiritwood, N.D.
The plant would be an integrated soybean crush facility and refinery, crushing 125,000 bushels of soybeans per day. It would produce soybean meal, refined, bleached and deodorized soybean oil, and biodiesel.
MnSP, a membership cooperative that owns and operates a soybean crush facility and biodiesel operation in Brewster, MN, has selected a site on 150 acres near Spiritwood. The coop would move forward with construction following further due diligence, necessary approvals and a successful engineering study.
By selecting the Spiritwood site, MnSP is able to conduct a preliminary front-end engineering and design study, which will be used to determine feasibility of construction. MnSP is working with the North Dakota Agricultural Products Utilization Commission to complete the construction feasibility study.
“The potential for this type of value-added project is great news for our farmers and the entire state of North Dakota,” Burgum said. “The NDSP plant will create value in the local community and beyond by creating 55 to 60 full-time jobs, supporting local service companies, vendors and suppliers and supporting the soybean price paid to local farmers.”
Gov. Burgum, MnSP Board President Bruce Hill and MnSP General Manager Scott Austin made the announcement during the annual Northern Soybean Expo and Trade Show in Fargo, joined by North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring. “Our preliminary market analysis shows there are markets this facility would serve that would complement our current efforts at the Brewster facility to reach both global and domestic markets for meal and oil,” Austin said.
“We also believe that the biodiesel from this plant would serve both domestic and international markets.”
The NDSP plant would annually produce 900,000 tons of soybean meal, which is usually used as livestock feed for poultry and swine but can also be used for cattle, and 490 million pounds of oil. Half of the oil will be used to produce biodiesel, while the other half will be food-grade soybean oil.
The plant would utilize steam from the nearby Spiritwood Station, a coal-fired power plant operated by Great River Energy. MnSP has been working with the Jamestown/Stutsman Development Corp. and meeting with the appropriate state agencies, including the Department of Commerce, Office of State Tax Commissioner and Bank of North Dakota.
Frankfort, Indiana, soybean farmer and USB director Mike Beard admits that for years his
focus has been on soybean yield and crop marketing, believing that to be the path to profitability. Lower prices have made him question that simplistic view of crop economics.
“My soybeans ultimately feed animals all over the world,” Beard says. “While they are the best source for protein for many species, it may be possible through processing and/or composition manipulation to better meet the nutritional needs of the animals we nourish. From this standpoint, I need to know what compositional values exist in the soybeans I produce, and I need to recognize the desires of the marketplace to feed the world’s meat animals.”
Demand for soybean oil and meal are the critical factors determining market value for soybeans. Both components are important, but when it comes to providing value to farmers, meal is the engine that drives profitability.
Although the market price per pound for soybean oil is typically higher than the price per pound of meal, the comparison doesn’t mean oil contributes more value per bushel of soybeans. There is about four times more meal than oil in a bushel of soybeans.
“Until oil delivers four times more value per pound than meal, the meal will provide more value per bushel,” says Nick Bajjalie, president of Integrative Nutrition in Decatur, Illinois. “While oil is typically higher on a per pound basis, when you look at their contributions on a per bushel of soybeans basis, meal is usually between 65 to 70 percent of the total product value.”
Bruce Weber, director of soybean product line grain marketing for CHS Inc., says comparatively, soybean oil is more stable long-term than meal. Oil can be easily stored for extended periods and pulled into the product pipeline when the market demands. Meal tends to move through the value chain more quickly.
“The need for both oil and meal makes processing plants run, depending upon what the market wants at the time,” Weber says. “Meal is more important to the price structure and the impacts of supply and demand are much closer.”
Weber says soybeans are highly valued as a meal crop. Oil uses are important to the overall product value, but buyers have more choices in the market if they’re looking for oil. Soybean meal is a different story.
“Soybean meal is still what drives profitability for processing plants and farmers,” Weber adds.
Plans to construct a $16 million soybean processing facility in the village of Massena, NY moved a step forward on Jan. 16.
The St. Lawrence County Planning Board voted to support the project, provided the developer meets several conditions.
Conditions include constructing a solid fence to separate the facility from two neighboring homes to reduce the impact of noise and light generated by truck traffic and operation of the plant.
County planning staff also made recommendations related to noise at the facility, which is expected to operate 24 hours a day. Recommendations also were made related to structure height, lighting and additional permits that are required.
Kenneth D. Jahre, a principal in St. Lawrence Soyway Co. LLC who resides in New York City, said Friday the firm is seeking some outside funding to help finance the $16 million project.
“I’m confident it’s going to happen,” Mr. Jahre said. “The process is in motion.”
He said the company is still working with an investment banker to secure enough funding for the project.
“It’s just a waiting game now,” he said.
St. Lawrence Soyway plans to construct a 40,000-square-foot processing facility that would crush soybeans into high-protein soy meal used primarily to feed dairy herds. It also can be used to feed hogs and poultry.
The plant would be constructed at the former village Department of Public Works site at 5933 Route 11. Last year, the Massena Village Board voted to rezone the site to a planned industrial district to accommodate the project.
The county’s recommendations will be returned to the Massena Village Planning Board, which is scheduled to discuss the project later this month.
Bunge North America, the North American operating arm of Bunge Limited (NYSE: BG), announced on Jan. 9 it plans to take steps to improve the productivity of its leading soybean processing footprint in the Eastern United States.
The plan includes building Bunge’s first new processing plant in the U.S. in fifteen years. Locations in Ohio and Indiana are under final consideration for the new facility.
“As we evaluate the long-term demand for soy products, we see the need to improve our asset footprint in the Eastern U.S., a key market,” said Tim Gallagher, executive vice president, Oilseed Value Chain, Bunge North America.
“A state-of-the-art facility in the Eastern Corn Belt that incorporates the latest productivity, safety and sustainability features combined with an increase in overall efficiency of our existing footprint will ensure Bunge can serve growing demand in the Southeastern U.S. feed and export markets.”
Once site selection is complete, Bunge will have to obtain necessary approvals to move forward with the project which would be expected to go online by the end of 2019.
Mark your calendar for the 85th Oil Mill Operators Short Course, organized by Texas A&M University’s Process Engineering Research & Development Center (formerly the Food Protein Research & Development Center) and IOMSA.
This year’s short course will be held April 2-4, 2017 in College Station, TX.
Check the March/April issue of Oil Mill Gazetteer for course theme and topics, hotel information, and other details.
For more information, call Richard Clough, TAMU, at 979-862-2262.
A ruling was handed down this month by the Johnson County Superior Court finding in favor of Separators, Inc.
In September of 2015, Separators filed a lawsuit alleging that former employees took confidential and proprietary information in the course of forming a competing company, Centrifuge Supplies.
“Over the course of thirty years, Separators has accumulated a massive technical library at significant expense and effort to help our customers,” said President Steve Dohm. “We are vindicated through this ruling. Throughout the process, the team remained positive.”
In the ruling handed down by Judge Marla Clark, the defendants were found in contempt of court after they attempted to conceal improperly taken documents and data owned by Separators. As a sanction for the defendants’ misconduct, the court entered a default judgment in favor of Separators, Inc. on claims, including computer trespass, theft, and breach of fiduciary duty.
Separators Inc. also was awarded legal fees and expert costs under court order. Centrifuge Supplies was also ordered to submit to third party supervision and regular audits to prevent reconstitution of Separators’ confidential information and data.
“While this has been a challenging, time-consuming process, an important step has been taken toward securing the future of our confidential and proprietary business information,” Dohm continued. “We remain dedicated to providing our customers the highest level of value, professionalism, and integrity in all aspects of our business.”
Texas A&M University’s Food Protein Research & Develop Center in late August announced the department will be changing its name to the Texas A&M Process Engineering Research & Development Center effective Sept. 1.
The department’s address will be unchanged. For more information, go to foodprotein.tamu.edu.
IOMSA in early August named Dennis Easley its Second Vice President for 2016-17. He then will become IOMSA President in 2018.
Easley has been in the oilseed processing industry since 1978. In 1979, he joined IOMSA.
He serves currently as plant manager for Valley Coop Oil Mill in Harlingen, TX, a role he has held since 1994.
His colleague, Denver Hance, is the 2016-17 IOMSA First Vice President.
One week after the U.S. Senate passed mandatory GMO food labeling legislation with a vote of 63-30, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the bill with a vote of 306-117.
Put forth on June 23, the bill is a bipartisan effort developed by the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman, Pat Roberts and ranking member, Debbie Stabenow that will preempt the possibility of differing piecemeal laws being passed from state to state while assuring the smooth continuation of business within the food supply chain.
Grain associations, including the National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA), the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA), and the American Soybean Association (ASA) have voiced their support for the action stating that the legislation will provide a national standard that will avoid inefficiencies in the food system and higher food costs.