Developers plan to break ground this spring on new soy-crush plant, Norfolk Crush, in Nebraska
A new, state-of-the-art soybean-crushing plant will be built in Madison County near Norfolk, Nebraska, pending state and local approvals.
“This will be the first modern soybean processing facility to begin operations in Nebraska,” said Nick Bowdish, president and CEO of N Bowdish Company LLC, which develops value-added projects for the ag sector.
Groundbreaking on the 480-acre site is slated for this spring, according to Bowdish, who is spearheading the development of Norfolk Crush LLC. He is also helping lead the development of Platinum Crush, a new soybean-crush plant in Buena Vista County, Iowa, where construction begins next month.
Norfolk Crush will own the new Nebraska facility, which will cost approximately $375 million to build. The plant will crush 38.5 million bushels of soybeans annually, or 110,000 bushels daily. It will also create 50 to 55 high-quality jobs.
Norfolk Crush has selected Fagen Inc. to be the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor for the plant.
“Fagen is excited to work with Nick Bowdish on another fantastic project,” said Chris Howard, president and CEO of Fagen. “The Norfolk area is a great location for a soybean-crush facility, which will make a lasting, positive impact on the region.”
When discussions for the project began last summer, the Fagen team expected the project to move quickly, Howard said. “In October of 2021, we began engineering efforts and secured the major equipment required to meet the planned mobilization date and to bring the plant operational in 2024.”
The Nebraska Central Railroad Co. and Union Pacific Railroad will serve Norfolk Crush.
“Union Pacific is proud to partner with Norfolk Crush to serve Nebraska’s ag community with service from the new soybean crush facility,” said Jason Hess, Union Pacific vice president of marketing and sales bulk. “Our network provides access to domestic and export markets, giving Norfolk Crush flexibility to compete globally.”
“All of us at the Rio Grande Pacific Corp., and more specifically, our subsidiary railroad the Nebraska Central Railroad Co., want to applaud Norfolk Crush LLC for selecting Norfolk, Nebraska, as a site for their new soybean crushing facility,” said Michael Haeg, Rio Grande Pacific’s vice president of marketing and sales. “We fully recognize that they had several options to choose from in selecting a location for this new facility. They will be a terrific partner with the city of Norfolk, as well as neighboring soybean producers, who will have a new value-added outlet to market their future soybean production.”
Projects like Norfolk Crush will help Nebraska remain an agricultural powerhouse. “The driving force behind our success is the hard work of innovators and leaders like Nick,” said Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts. “Under his leadership, value-added projects have enhanced our agriculture sector by better enabling our farmers, ranchers, and feeders to do what they do best: feed and fuel the world. Norfolk Crush will be a great addition to support our soybean production in the state.”
Norfolk Mayor Josh Moenning said the community is excited about this significant investment in Norfolk and Madison County. “This value-added ag venture not only creates great jobs in and around our community, but it provides area farmers with additional market options by preparing products for use in rapidly growing national markets like renewable diesel. It’s agricultural investment that will benefit Norfolkans and northeast Nebraskans for years to come.”
Norfolk Crush by the Numbers
Norfolk Crush will produce 847,000 tons of soybean meal per year (2,420 tons per day) for livestock feed markets, 450 million pounds of crude soybean oil per year (1.28 million pounds per day), and 77,000 tons of pelleted soybean hulls per year (220 tons per day). The soymeal and soy hulls, which contain highly digestible fiber, will be used in livestock feed rations.
Soybean oil from Norfolk Crush can be used for a variety of applications, including the rapidly expanding renewable diesel industry.
Norfolk Crush will be able to unload trucks at 60,000 bushels per hour, saving farmers and truckers a great deal of time when they deliver soybeans to the plant.
“A modern crush plant is a farmer’s dream,” said Craig Ebberson, who farms in the Belden area. “Our closest plant is an hour away, and it’s notorious for having three- to four-hour waits. Norfolk Crush will increase demand for soybeans in our area, adding more profit potential. I’ve experienced first-hand the positive impact of doing business with facilities under Nick’s leadership. His hands-on approach makes the difference.”