Gov. Jack Dalrymple today joined Grand Forks Mayor Michael Brown, the Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corporation, and official from Northern Plains Nitrogen to announce the company’s plans to build a $1.5 billion nitrogen fertilizer production facility northwest of Gran Forks. The plant will produce nitrogen-based fertilizers by converting natural gas into anhydrous ammonia and urea. Currently, the fertilizer is imported to the area from countries such as Egypt, China and Saudi Arabia.
“This is an exciting opportunity for Grand Forks, the state of North Dakota and the Northern Plains,” Dalrymple said. “This plant will utilize the increasing supplies of natural gas across the region and will provide a reliable regional supply of fertilizer while reducing producers’ dependence on imported products.”
The company announced today its intent to move forward with a FEED (Front End Engineering and Design) study to determine engineering and design specifications, and infrastructure needs. If completed, the plant will have a capacity of 2,200 tons per day and will produce in excess of 600,000 tons of nitrogen per year. The plant will employ approximately 135 full-time employees in operations, maintenance, engineering, administration and marketing and a peak construction workforce of approximately 2,000 workers. Construction is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2015, with an anticipated completion date of spring 2017.
Northern Plains Nitrogen was created by farmers in the Northern Plains as a result of research conducted by North Dakota State University. The research was funded by the Corn Growers Organizations of North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota, and the Manitoba Canola and North Dakota Soybean Councils. The North Dakota Department of Commerce is working closely with the company to identify state programs that can be utilized for the plant’s construction.