Bio & Pharmaceuticals

ND: Midwest AgEnergy Breaks Ground on $155M Biorefinery

14 Aug, 2013

Gov. Jack Dalrymple joined officials from Midwest AgEnergy Group to break ground on a new biorefinery that will produce ethanol, distillers grains and fuel-grade corn oil. The biorefinery, to be built in the Spiritwood Energy Park east of Jamestown, will produce 65 million gallons of ethanol annually.

“The Dakota Spirit AgEnergy biorefinery will create new market opportunities for North Dakota farmers, serve to further diversify our growing economy and help the nation become more energy independent,” Dalrymple said. “In North Dakota, we have stayed true to a proven energy policy that promotes the responsible development of all our energy resources. Our work is paying off in very significant ways and this biorefinery is another example of what can be accomplished when states create an environment in which private industry can thrive.”

Midwest AgEnergy Group, an upper Midwest biofuels enterprise owned by Great River Energy, will build a biorefinery capable of producing 65 million gallons of ethanol, 198,000 tons of distillers grains for livestock feed and 6,900 tons of fuel-grade corn oil for use in biodiesel. 

The biorefinery will buy about 23 million bushels of corn from area farmers every year and employ about 36 workers. Midwest AgEnergy Group will invest $155 million to build the plant which is expected to be in operation in the first quarter of 2015.

The biorefinery will be built next to Great River Energy’s Spiritwood Station, a power plant that will supply the biorefinery with low-cost steam to significantly reduce the plant’s energy costs.

Prior to 2006, the state produced about 30 million gallons of ethanol. Since then, four companies have built ethanol plants in North Dakota that collectively produce about 400 million gallons of the renewable fuel every year.

The state assisted the project’s development through project research funding, a low-interest loan, loan guarantees and tax incentives on construction and operation.

Joining Dalrymple for Midwest AgEnergy Group’s groundbreaking were: Sen. John Hoeven, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, Congressman Kevin Cramer, Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring, North Dakota Public Service Commissioner Julie Fedorchak, Great River Energy CEO and President David Saggau, Great River Energy Board member Mike Thorson, Great River Energy Vice President of Business Development and Strategy Gregory Ridderbusch, Stutsman County Commissioner Mark Klose, USDA Rural Development State Director Jasper Schneider, Jamestown Mayor Katie Anderson and Gary Riffe, president of the Jamestown-Stutsman County Development Corp.