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Iowa soy processing plant receives key permit

SRSP SRSP artist rendering 3.jpg
Permit marks crucial advancement in the development of the $270 million plant.

Shell Rock Soy Processing (SRSP) has received a key air-quality permit, marking a crucial advancement in the development of the $270 million plant at the Butler Logistics Park northwest of Shell Rock, Iowa.

“SRSP is a game changer that’s like a Spartan race,” said Mike Kinley, CEO of Mid-Iowa Cooperative (MIC), a developing partner of SRSP. “It’s the ultimate team challenge that raises the bar on competition. Receiving this air-quality permit will help us propel value-added agriculture in this region.”

Sustainable development defines SRSP. When operational in 2022, SRSP will crush 40 million bushels of soybeans annually, or 110,000 bushels daily. The plant will create 50 to 60 high-quality jobs.

An extensive air permit application and review process ensures that SRSP meets strict emissions standards to protect human health. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has issued a Major Source Construction Permit subject to Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) Review.

“The normal permitting timeline for this type of air permit is six months to more than a year,” said Dave Plagge, environmental services department head for Fagen Engineering, LLC, the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) design builder and development partner for SRSP. “In October 2020, SRSP applied for the permit, which was issued in March of 2021, just shy of five months.”

The PSD review process adds a level of complexity that smaller facilities don’t go through. “The permit’s operating requirements for SRSP assure continued compliance with air quality standards,” Plagge added.

Fagen Inc. is excited that SRSP has achieved this major project milestone.

“We’ll ramp up construction activities in April and look forward to working with Mike Kinley and the SRSP team,” said Evan Fagen, chief operating officer for Fagen, Inc.

Thinking globally, acting locally

Partnerships like this are a key to SRSP’s success. SRSP recently signed a multi-year agreement with CHS Inc. to support management and operations at the plant. SRSP will produce approximately 850,000 tons of high-quality soybean meal for livestock feed that CHS will market domestically and internationally.

SRSP will also produce soy oil that can be used for a variety of applications, including the human food industry. Approximately 25% of SRSP’s products will be used within Iowa, while 75% will be exported outside of Iowa.

“This plant will allow us to extract all the value possible from locally-grown soybeans for food and fuel needs,” said Mike Knobbe, an SRSP developing partner with Kinley.

SRSP will bring Butler County and surrounding areas into the center of the global ag economy while diversifying the local economy.

“We’ve already been getting calls from job seekers wanting to know if SRSP is hiring,” Kinley said. “We’re excited to make SRSP a reality that will benefit the region for decades to come.”

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