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Published September 04, 2014, 09:32 AM

Planning commission gives early nod to ND fertilizer plant

A $1.85 billion nitrogen fertilizer plant is a few steps closer to opening north of Grand Forks, N.D. The city Planning and Zoning Commission granted early approval Sept. 3 of Northern Plains Nitrogen’s plans, including annexation of the approximately 340-acre site at North 55th Street and 54th Avenue North.

By: Charly Haley, Forum News Service

A $1.85 billion nitrogen fertilizer plant is a few steps closer to opening north of Grand Forks, N.D.

The city Planning and Zoning Commission granted early approval Sept. 3 of Northern Plains Nitrogen’s plans, including annexation of the approximately 340-acre site at North 55th Street and 54th Avenue North.

The plans are still up for further approval by the planning commission and Grand Forks City Council.

Before voting on NPN’s plans, the planning commission had several questions, including safety concerns.

Calvin Coey, project manager for NPN, repeatedly assured the commission that the plant will be safe, with precautions such as its own ambulance and fire truck.

Council member Doug Christensen said he didn’t want the plant to have a smell that would bother residents, which Coey also said would not happen.

At the commission’s questions, Coey reminded them that NPN has several investors waiting on the city’s approval of plans and land annexation.

The fertilizer plant is expected to produce approximately 1.5 million tons per year of fertilizer products.

Construction is expected to start in 2015. The startup date has been pushed back from 2017 to 2018, Coey said.

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