Northern Plains Nitrogen (NPN) leaders announced plans last week to build and operate a $1.5 billion nitrogen fertilizer production facility near Grand Forks, N.D.

The world-scale production facility will include a 2,200 ton per day ammonia plant plus urea and Urea-Ammonium-Nitrate (UAN) production facilities.

North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple said, "This is an exciting opportunity for Grand Forks, the State of North Dakota, and the Northern Plains. This plant will utilize the increasing supplies of natural gas across the region and will provide a reliable regional supply of fertilizer while reducing producers' dependence on imported products."

The facility will be located on land adjacent to the Grand Forks Wastewater Treatment Plant. Larry Mackie, NPN Chief Operations Officer, says it's a perfect location, and called the flat ground where the plant will be built, "a site that is as good as it gets for our purposes."

There are currently discussions underway for NPN to utilize the wastewater effluent from the Grand Forks wastewater treatment process for the plant's water supply. NPN CEO, Don Pottinger notes, "this green-field world-scale production facility will be among the safest, most efficient and environmentally compliant ever constructed.

By using modern technology which, among other benefits, reduces our carbon footprint, the NPN facility is taking shape to be a very exciting and worthwhile undertaking."

Two of the crops commonly grown in the northern plains are corn and canola which use large quantities of nitrogen fertilizer. The location of the plant, in the heart of farming territory, is one of the key benefits to growers in the region.

It is expected that the plant will be completed and ready to provide the area growers with fertilizer in time for the 2017 growing season.

The plant will employ a peak construction workforce of approximately 2,000 workers and will provide approximately 135 full time employees in operations, maintenance, engineering, administration, and marketing when operational.