Minnesota company plans record $3B factory in North Dakota

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A powerhouse agribusiness based in Minnesota is constructing a record manufacturing plant in North Dakota.

CHS Inc., headquartered in Inver Grove Heights, announced Friday it will build a $3 billion fertilizer manufacturing plant in Spiritwood, North Dakota. It's the single largest investment in the company's history, and the single largest private investment ever undertaken in that state, CHS says.

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Once completed, the facility will employ 160-180 people, and produce 2,400 tons of ammonia every day to be converted into fertilizer products.

Most of the product will go to farmer-owned cooperatives and independent farm supply retailers within a 200-mile radius of the plant, reaching the Dakotas, Minnesota, Montana and Canada.

A 2013 report by InForum said the CHS plant would not make ammonium nitrate – the chemical thought to be the reason for the West Texas plant explosion that killed 15 people and wounded 226 others in 2013.

The CHS facility will however produce UAN – a fertilizer that combines urea with ammonium nitrate, and adds water, the Jamestown Sun reports.

AmmoniaIndustry.com keeps a map of all the locations of ammonia plants in the United States. With the completion of the CHS facility, North Dakota would contain four such plants (with the others in Grand Forks, Casselton and Beulah).

The Star Tribune says CHS recorded $44.5 billion in revenue during the prior year. It's a Fortune 100 business owned by cooperatives, farmers, ranchers and stock holders

The company hopes to have the Spiritwood plant fully operational in the first half of 2018. Details will be nailed down during a September board meeting.


Bills wants Minnesota more like North Dakota

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Kurt Bills says American farmers should be left alone, with less federal support, much like oil producers in western North Dakota. “My goal is to become North Dakota, not Washington, D.C.,” Bills said Wednesday, referring to that state’s oil boom that he said occurred with little government assistance. Bills is challenging Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., who is seeking a second term. The two of them made their first joint appearance Wednesday.

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