PIERRE – Two agricultural processing projects in Brookings County received approval Thursday for loans from the South Dakota Railroad Board.
South Dakota Soybean Processors will get $964.070 to pay for expansions of its rail yard to handle about 50 more cars, while a new $55 million venture will get $4 million toward its plans to produce better distiller grain for livestock and dairy cows.
The soybean plant needs more car storage because Canadian Pacific is terminating two agreements that were in effect with Dakota Minnesota and Eastern railroad.
The new business, Novatis Aurora, will ship in distiller grain from ethanol plants and use a solvent process to remove much of the corn oil content.
Novatis CEO Don Endres said corn oil reduces feed efficiency as well as milk yield and quality.
He said ethanol plants aren’t set up to take this next step and generally are “capital constrained” at this time. The long-term plan is to create a new market that will be supportive of the ethanol industry.
About $40 million of the Novatis Aurora project’s funding is coming from equity.
“It is a large investment and the first of its kind in the country,” Endres said. Construction is planned to start in second quarter 2013 and production is slated to be begin second quarter 2014. The plant would handle 1,300 tons daily.