$1.2B fertilizer plant planned for eastern ND [UPDATED]Published 9:06am Friday, September 14, 2012 Updated 12:08pm Friday, September 14, 2012
BISMARCK — CHS Inc. plans to build a $1.2 billion anhydrous ammonia plant in eastern North Dakota, taking advantage of the state’s abundant natural gas supplies to satisfy rising demand for fertilizer, company officials said Wednesday.
Once it begins operating by late 2016, the factory should be capable of making more than 2,000 tons of anhydrous ammonia daily, said Carl Casale, the company’s president and CEO.
The factory will be built on a 200-acre site within the Spiritwood Energy Park, about 10 miles east of Jamestown.
Casale and North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple announced the project Wednesday at a news conference at the state Capitol. It has has been under review for months, Casale said.
Anhydrous ammonia, which adds nitrogen and other nutrients to the soil, is a common farm fertilizer, used in boosting production of corn, wheat and other crops. North Dakota farmers alone use about 350,000 tons of it each year.
Natural gas prices are now at about $2.50 per thousand cubic feet. At those prices, it takes about $82 worth of natural gas to make a ton of anhydrous ammonia, which is selling for about $800 per ton.
“You know there’s some potential there for some profit to be made,” Dalrymple said.
Casale said despite the favorable outlook for fertilizer manufacture, “this was a very big decision for our board of directors to take. This is the largest … single investment we’re about to make in the history of the company.”
The plant will supply anhydrous ammonia and other fertilizers to farmers and agricultural products retailers in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Montana and Canada, he said.