WHO WE ARE AND WHERE WE ARE GOING
NPN will operate in an environmentally-responsible manner, keeping the best interests of our customers, investors, employees, our host community and environmental respect at the center of our operations.
NPN will develop and operate a world-scale nitrogen production facility, providing a reliable supply of fertilizer to the most under-served and highest-cost nitrogen market in the United States.
Northern Plains Nitrogen LLP was created by the customers it will serve. The project’s roots are in research sponsored by the North Dakota Corn Growers Association in 2006. The early investigation indicated that the supply for nitrogen fertilizer would be unpredictable for the northern plains region. Timely delivery was threatened by everything from spring floods (or late ice-out) on the Mississippi River to the shortage of rail cars. Without dramatic changes, the likely future for growers was one of increasing costs and uncertain supply for nitrogen fertilizer.
The initial group also recognized that the need for a dependable and affordable supply of nitrogen fertilizer wasn’t limited to corn growers. Representatives of other crop production associations in nearby states and provinces were engaged to investigate the potential to produce nitrogen-containing fertilizer products in their high-priced market which was then and still is served largely by imports.
By 2012, those steering the research came to an important conclusion: they had the power to change the marketplace. As a May 2013 article in “Prairie Business” put it, the research convinced the initial group of corn growers “of the ongoing needs for nitrogen fertilizer, the availability of natural gas as a low-cost source of hydrogen for ammonia production, and the opportunity to partner with natural gas companies to predict long-term prices and supplies.”
In 2013, Northern Plains Nitrogen (NPN) was born with the goal of building a 2,400-ton-a-day ammonia plant with other associated downstream nitrogen fertilizer products such as urea and UAN.
Since the project’s launch, NPN has achieved several key benchmarks:
- Founders and Seed Capital rounds of funding have been completed. The proceeds are being used for on-going business operations.
- A development site has been acquired – 320 acres of prime industrial property in the northwest quadrant of Grand Forks. It is served by critical infrastructure, including Grand Forks centralized water treatment (WWTP) and key transportation links (the Burlington Northern Santa Fe rail mainlines and Interstate Highway 29 and U.S. Highway 2).
- Project site plan design is complete. NPN is working with Grand Forks on platting and annexation.
- Air permitting work is moving forward.
- A Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment has been completed with no concerns found.
- NPN is working with Grand Forks and other authorities on traffic and airport issues. No problems have been identified.
The facility is projected to cost more than $2 billion and begin operations in 2018. While significant progress has been made, there remain several obstacles, including the need to attract additional investors. NPN cannot complete the project without significant new financial partners. Several avenues are being pursued to identify and attract additional partners.