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ADM, Marathon Oil Soybean Crush Plant in Middle of Startup in Spiritwood

By Todd Neeley

Archer Daniels Midland and Marathon Oil officially opened a soybean processing plant in Spiritwood, North Dakota, this week in a joint venture that will provide a new market for soybean farmers and provide oil feedstocks to Marathon to produce renewable diesel.

Officials from both companies were on hand earlier this week for a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Green Bison Soy Processing plant, which is an ADM (75%) and Marathon (25%) joint venture.

Green Bison Soy Processing began receiving soybeans in September of 2023 and is in the commissioning and startup phase of processing soybeans for meal and oil.

The plant will source and process local soybeans, according to a news release from the companies, with the resulting oil supplied exclusively to Marathon as a feedstock for renewable fuels.

The facility is expected to produce about 600 million pounds of refined soybean oil annually, enough feedstock for around 75 million gallons of renewable green diesel per year.

The $350 million complex features state-of-the-art automation technology and has the capacity to process 150,000 bushels of soybeans per day, according to the companies.

A second project, a 42.5-million-bushel crushing plant operated by North Dakota Soybean Processors, is expected to be fully operational in Casselton in 2024. That plant is a joint venture between CGB Enterprises Inc. and Minnesota Soybean Processors.

The companies said the Green Bison plant has supported "hundreds" of jobs in the region and currently employs about 75 workers.

"Sustainability is one of the enduring trends driving changes in structural global demand, and this investment helps position ADM, as a leader in our industry, to deliver on that demand," said Greg Morris, president of ADM's ag services and oilseeds business.

"The continued growth in demand for renewable green diesel presents a transformative opportunity for the oilseed industry, for producers and for increasing the sustainability footprint of our transportation system."

Dave Heppner, Marathon's senior vice president of strategy and business development, said in a statement the Spiritwood plant is an important milestone in the company's future.

"As we continue challenging ourselves to lead in sustainable energy, our joint venture with ADM not only strengthens our presence in North Dakota, but also gives us the opportunity to collaborate further with a world-class partner as we continue investing in a sustainable, energy-diverse future," he said.

"Green Bison Soy Processing's Spiritwood facility is an important milestone in our ability to source and optimize logistically advantaged feedstock for our growing renewable fuels business."

ADM and Marathon Oil announced their project back in May 2021.

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