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APUC considers Spiritwood grants in Jamestown, N.D.

At least two projects planned for the Spiritwood Energy Park Association industrial park will make their case for funding from the Agricultural Products Utilization Committee Monday when it meets in Medora, N.D.

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At least two projects planned for the Spiritwood Energy Park Association industrial park will make their case for funding from the Agricultural Products Utilization Committee Monday when it meets in Medora, N.D.

New Energy Spirit Biomass Refinery is bringing a scaled-down proposal to the board after its request for $225,000 was denied in May. The grant was to be used for a study of a cellulosic ethanol plant that would use corn stover and wheat straw as input.

If constructed, the $150 million plant is planned for the Spiritwood Energy Park Association property. The Jamestown/Stutsman Development Corp. had pledged a $75,000 grant to match the APUC grant, if it is awarded.

The company is now applying for $125,000, according to Connie Ova, CEO of the JSDC. Ova said New Energy has continued working on the study, which has an estimated cost of $300,000, at its own expense.

At the time of the denial in May, Doug Goehring, North Dakota agriculture commissioner and member of the APUC committee, said the board was supportive of the project but asked that the request be reworked. APUC had granted $100,000 for a study of a cellulosic ethanol plant at Spiritwood in 2009.

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Robert Johnson, CEO of New Energy, said in June the project was still on schedule for a groundbreaking in the summer of 2017.

Spiritwood Ingredients is requesting an APUC grant of $52,500 to be matched by a $50,000 grant from the JSDC to fund a $121,000 study. Spiritwood Ingredients would purchase high-protein barley for processing into fish food for the commercial aquaculture industry. Remaining portions of barley would be utilized at Dakota Spirit AgEnergy for ethanol production.

Todd Hylden, CEO of Spiritwood Ingredients, said last week the plant will utilize about 5 million bushels of barley per year. If the engineering study goes according to plan, construction could start this year on the plant, which would be co-located with Dakota Spirit AgEnergy.

The APUC committee will consider 13 applications totalling more than $1.2 million. The board meets quarterly and had about $400,000 available for grants during the last quarter.

Other large grant requests include $103,000 for North Dakota Soybean Processors for a study on a planned soybean-crushing plant. Ova said the plant is planned for somewhere in North Dakota although details have not been released.

Dakota Specialty Milling of Fargo is requesting $203,000 for engineering and marketing studies regarding an expansion to its specialty food business.

Keshav Rajpal of Grand Forks is requesting $253,000 for a study of a cellulosic ethanol biorefinery aimed at processing low-quality agriculture inputs into fuel.

Intelligent Malt of Fargo is requesting $153,000 for the construction of a prototype small-scale plant to convert grains into malts for beverage production. The study includes utilizing cloud-based networks to help small-scale malt producers market the product to beverage processors.

Related Topics: WHEATNORTH DAKOTA
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