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  • Writer's pictureRon Kotrba

New soybean crush plant breaks ground in Iowa

A new soybean crushing plant broke ground recently in northeast Iowa near Shell Rock, Mike Kinley, CEO of Mid-Iowa Cooperative, told Biobased Diesel Daily. Mid-Iowa Cooperative is a farmer-owned co-op based in east-central Iowa.


Kinley and the co-op are spearheading an effort to establish the new $270 million soy crush plant, Shell Rock Soy Processing LLC, which is expected to be operational in 2022. The plant will be scaled to crush 38.5 million bushels of soybeans annually, or 110,000 bushels daily, and will create 50 to 60 jobs. The build site is at the Butler Logistics Park northwest of Shell Rock. The plant is being constructed by Minnesota-based Fagen Inc.

The facility will produce 462 million pounds of crude soybean oil per year, or 1.32 million pounds per day, for use in a variety of applications including food and fuel; 847,000 tons of soybean meal per year, or approximately 2,420 tons per day, for livestock feed markets; and 77,000 tons of pelleted soybean hulls per year, or 220 tons per day. The pelleted hulls contain highly digestible fiber and, along with the meal, will be used in livestock feed rations.

With several large renewable diesel projects being announced in recent months, Kinley told Biobased Diesel Daily that some of the soybean oil generated at the crush plant in Shell Rock will be sold to fuel producers for processing into renewable diesel or biodiesel.

At peak capacity, approximately 150 trucks will access the plant per day, and about 35 railcars a day will be loaded and unloaded on-site. The plant’s proximity to the Iowa Northern Railway will help optimize logistics in and out of the crush plant.

“Iowa Northern is honored to have a key role in connecting Iowa agricultural communities direct to the North American transportation network,” said Dan Sabin, president of Iowa Northern Railway Company, a Class III, shortline railroad based in Waterloo that serves industries throughout north-central and eastern Iowa. “We’re pleased to partner with Mid-Iowa Cooperative on this dynamic project and look forward to fulfilling our role in its future success.”

Mid-Iowa Cooperative continues to seek investors and the co-op itself will own a portion of SRSP. "We are still fundraising," Kinley told Biobased Diesel Daily. "However, it is going fast."

Approximately 25 percent of SRSP's products will be used within Iowa, while 75 percent will be exported outside the state.



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