Grand Forks, ND, Gives Initial Nod to Chinese Corn Milling Plant

Bismark, ND (AP) — The Grand Forks City Council has given initial approval to a Chinese company’s proposed $700 million corn-milling facility that officials say could be the largest private sector investment in the community’s history.

The council approved a development agreement with a subsidiary of Fufeng Group Ltd. Tuesday (Feb. 22) that allows the project to move forward with financing and permitting, City Administrator Todd Feland said.

Construction on the project could begin later this year, he said.

The Chinese agribusiness picked an approximately 370-acre (150-hectare) site in Grand Forks’ agri-business park last year.

The facility is expected to initially require 25 million bushels of corn annually.

Grand Forks will invest more than $96 million for the project’s water, wastewater, and other infrastructure needs, using state, federal, and local grants, Feland said.

The money would be recouped in time from utility rates and special assessments and other fees paid by Fufeng, he said.

Fufeng makes products for the animal nutrition, food, and beverage, pharmaceutical, health and wellness, oil and gas, and other industries.

It’s a leading producer of xanthan gum.

This will be its first U.S.-based manufacturing facility, Feland said.

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