The final push of the equity drive for the planned North Dakota Soybean Processors plant at Spiritwood is concentrating on area investors, according to Bruce Hill, president of Minnesota Soybean Processors, the parent company of North Dakota Soybean Processors.
“We’re hoping for North Dakota investors and putting a couple on the board of directors of the plant,” Hill said. “… I think we have a little movement. No details, but it will take a little time.”
Connie Ova, CEO of the Jamestown/Stutsman Development Corp., said local investors would increase the economic impact of the plant to the local economy.
“Definitely would like to see those benefits coming back to North Dakota shareholders,” she said.
Minnesota Soybean Processors announced plans to construct a crushing plant in the Spiritwood Energy Park Association industrial park in February 2017.
Hill said the private placement memorandum, a document that projects the profits of the venture and the possible return to investors, has been updated to take into account the current levels of commodity prices and value of the products the plant would produce.
“Everybody should like what they see,” he said. “… The soybean market is working in our favor.”
Ova said the document includes a higher return on investment than previous projections.
While attempting to raise those investments, project leaders from Minnesota Soybean Processors are interviewing for some plant leadership positions and finalizing permits and agreements with local governments.
“All of the plans are working,” Hill said. “We finish the equity drive and get the contractors on the site and working.”
Brandy Johnson, administrative assistant who works with investor relations for North Dakota Soybean Processors in Jamestown, said much of the recent efforts by the company have been reviewing previous work.
“We’re working on making sure everything is where it needs to be,” she said. “Then, when we get the money, we can start digging.”
Upon completion of the equity drive and with a commitment from Minnesota Soybean Processors to move ahead with construction, the JSDC will transfer land south of the current Dakota Spirit AgEnergy plant to Spiritwood Energy Park Association as a site for the North Dakota Soybean Processors plant. The Energy Park Association would then contract for the construction of the rail sidings for the soybean plant.
Ova said the Energy Park would collect future lease and infrastructure payments to recover the cost of the land and rail sidings.
Hill said the plans still call for a 125,000 bushel per day processing plant with an engineer’s estimate of about $287 million for construction costs. The plant would process locally grown soybeans into a variety of products including biodiesel as a renewable energy source.
Minnesota Soybean Processors has actively sought investors since 2017. In April 2019, the company changed leadership with the termination of Scott Austin as CEO of Minnesota Soybean Processors.
In May, Hill said the company was still seeking $50 million in investments with a goal of completing the equity drive that month.
“I’m still as optimistic as I’ve ever been,” he said, referring to a new goal of completing the drive in time for construction to start in July.