Energy park in works
JAMESTOWN, N.D. - A $350 million industrial park revolving around coal, corn and barley is planned10 miles east of here.
Work on the Spiritwood Industrial Park, believed to be one of the biggest construction projects in state history, is expected to begin this fall and be completed in 2009.
"The venture will benefit not only Jamestown but the whole region," said Gov. John Hoeven, who announced the project at a Tuesday news conference.
The Newman Group of Jamestown, Cargill Inc. and Great River Energy are partners in the project, which Hoeven said will create a total of about 100 new jobs.
The project's three key components are:
- A 100-million-gallon per year ethanol plant that will use about 35 million bushels of corn annually.
The plant will employ 40-45 people with an estimated average salary of about $50,000, according to officials with The Newman Group, the lead entity in the ethanol plant.
- A 30 percent expansion in Cargill's existing Spiritwood malting plant, increasing the amount of barley bought by the plant from 20 million to 28 million bushels.
The expansion won't add jobs at the plant, but will increase its efficiency, said officials with Minnetonka, Minn.-based Cargill.
- A coal-fired power plant providing steam energy to the ethanol and malting plants.
The $157 million power plant, to be built by Elk River, Minn.-based Great River Energy, also will provide wholesale electricity to the cooperative's members.
The plant is expected to provide 17 to 20 jobs, at salaries still to be determined, according to cooperative officials.
Construction of the power plant is expected to begin in 2007 and be completed in 2009.
"We're going to build a clean power plant," said David Saggau, Great River Energy's president and chief executive officer.
Expansion of the malting plant is expected to be finished next year, Cargill officials said.
"This puts our Spiritwood facility in a much stronger position for long-term sustainability and success," said Cargill Vice President John Geisler.
Work on the ethanol plant will begin this fall and be completed in the spring of 2008, according to Newman Group officials.
By working together, the industrial park's three tenants will create one of the most efficient operations in the country, said Jamestown businessman Harold Newman.
"It's a great day for North Dakota, especially central North Dakota," he said.
Hoeven said a state aid package for the project is still being developed, but likely will include road improvements and Bank of North Dakota assistance of $7 million to $10 million.
A number of details still must be worked out, but Hoeven and other officials said Monday they're confident the project will get done.
The project has been in the works for about two years, Hoeven said.
Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., said the project is a major step in developing the state's energy potential.
"North Dakota is in an energy renaissance, and who knows how far it's going to take us," he said.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Jonathan Knutson at (701) 241-5530