MIDWEST AgEnergy Group, an Upper Midwest biofuel enterprise owned by Great River Energy, broke ground on the Dakota Spirit AgEnergy biorefinery located near Jamestown, N.D.
North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D., N.D.) joined Midwest AgEnergy president Greg Ridderbusch at the groundbreaking ceremony on Aug. 9.
The Dakota Spirit AgEnergy biorefinery plans to purchase 23 million bu. of corn to annually produce 65 million gal. of ethanol, 198,000 tons of distillers grains for livestock feed and 6,900 tons of fuel-grade corn oil for use in biodiesel. Renewable fuel standard certification has been secured from the Environmental Protection Agency for the company's ethanol production.
"The Dakota Spirit AgEnergy biorefinery will create new market opportunities for North Dakota farmers, serve to further diversify our growing economy and help the nation become more energy independent," Dalrymple said. "In North Dakota, we have stayed true to a proven energy policy that promotes the responsible development of all our energy resources. Our work is paying off in very significant ways, and this biorefinery is another example of what can be accomplished when states create an environment in which private industry can thrive."
The new biorefinery will be adjacent to the Great River Energy's Spiritwood Station power plant, which will supply the plant with low-cost steam to significantly reduce its energy costs.
Commercial operation is scheduled for the first quarter of 2015, the company said.
"By expanding the use of biofuels — particularly ethanol — in North Dakota, we're reinforcing the strength of our state's diverse energy resources. Those at the Dakota Spirit AgEnergy ethanol biorefinery have been incredible partners as their new plant will not only be more efficient and lower our carbon footprint, but it will also support well-paying jobs in the community and help our corn growers expand their operations," said Heitkamp, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. "This project is another reminder that biofuels are a legitimate renewable resource that could help lead us toward North American energy independence while also supporting great jobs in our rural communities."