Northern Plains Nitrogen (NPN) has received all the regulatory approvals needed to move forward in constructing a fertilizer plant at Grand Forks, N.D.

Financing the more-than-$2 billion construction project is the main focus at this point. “While NPN remains optimistic, it is a difficult and highly competitive financial market for raising development capital, and NPN’s ability to secure the necessary financing remains a work in progress,” a recent announcement noted.

The final permitting hurdle for the proposed nitrogen fertilizer facility, a “Permit to Construct” was issued by the North Dakota Department of Health Division of Air Quality based on analysis of the facility’s projected impact on air quality.

“The permit was issued following a 30-day public comment that drew only positive feedback, including an endorsement from the Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corporation (EDC),” NPN proclaimed.  The EDC wrote, “NPN and the City of Grand Forks are working closely to ensure this plant technically meets or exceeds expectations for the safety and benefit of the region. The EDC supports projects that will enhance our region’s economy, generate new wealth and create new jobs. NPN’s project meets these goals, not only for our region but our state.”

It was noted by Anderson and Don Pottinger, CEO of NPN, that the recent decision by CHS to abandon its proposed Spiritwood, N. D., project concept has no negative affect on NPN’s plans. If anything, it would appear to be positive for NPN.

“We may see less pressure on building costs and will be in a better position to hire the talent needed during construction and for operation of the facility,” Pottinger said. “Ultimately, though, our long-term goal remains the same regardless of the decisions others make—to provide growers in our region with a reliable supply of high-quality nitrogen fertilizer.”

NPN’s proposal is for a large-scale nitrogen fertilizer complex that includes a 2,400-ton-per-day ammonia plant. The site has a total of 320 acres.

NPN notes that an adequate supply of processed and cooling water for its facility has been ensured in planning with the city of Grand Forks. It has been explained that “the plant will meet a substantial share of its water needs by re-using ‘gray’ water (wastewater from the adjacent Grand Forks city sewage lagoons.”

Anderson also noted, “The site also has access to abundant and competitively priced natural gas. For example, the Viking Gas Transmission Co. has a pipeline located 16 miles east of the NPN site.” Of additional importance, he pointed out that the site is adjacent to major rail and highway corridors.

Anderson concluded in his statement, “The bottom line, though, is the marketplace. The NPN facility will provide a dependable supply of fertilizer to a region that over the years has been affected by everything from flooding or late ice-out on the Mississippi River to the shortage of rail cars.”