US agribusiness Epitome Energy is planning to build a US$400M soyabean crushing plant in North Dakota.

Epitome Energy CEO and founder Dennis Egan publicly announced the company’s plans on 5 December, Grand Forks Herald reported on the same day.

Epitome said the new facility would address the region’s limited processing options, improve markets for area farmers, and supply soyabean products for fuel producers, food companies and other agribusinesses.

“For many farmers in the Red River Valley, the nearest facility capable of processing their crop is over 100 miles away. Without nearby processing, farmers pay higher transportation costs for their crop and are limited in the markets they are able to reach,” the company said.

“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.”

Epitome said it had sent a letter of intent to build on a greenfield site near Grand Forks, which had good rail and road connections.

With construction expected to begin in the middle of next year, the facility was due to become operational in late 2025.

The new plant was expected to process 42M bushels/year of soyabeans to produce 940,000 tonnes/year of soyabean meal, 227M litres/year of soyabean oil and 84,000 tonnes/year of soyabean hulls.

The plant would also serve rising demand for renewable diesel fuel, biodiesel fuel, soyabean oil, soyabean meal and livestock feed, the company said.

The facility will be designed and engineered by US green energy design/builder Fagen with processing equipment for the facility designed and built by oilseed technology company Crown Iron Works.