Zoning board approves special exceptions for Aberdeen soybean plant

Farm Forum

Since Ag Processing Inc. announced Aberdeen as the site for its 10th soybean processing plant in September, the project hasn’t lost momentum.

“Everything is moving forward as planned,” Mike Bockorny, Aberdeen Development Corp. CEO, said.

The Aberdeen City Board of Zoning Adjustment approved three special exceptions on May 12, as requested by the Aberdeen Development Corp. for AGP.

The development corporation requested to permit both the construction of a rail spur and the soybean oil refinery and biodiesel facility, as well as permission to store fuel oil, diesel fuel, natural gas, hexane, methanol and sodium methylate at 4816 Eighth Ave. N.E.

Ken Hubbart, city planner, said special exceptions typically are items listed in every zoning district as ones that require review and approval.

“Typically the board looks at them, determines the type of use and applies any stipulations for use in that area,” Hubbart said.

Hubbart said on May 12 the board had no stipulations, other than to request a review of the full plan before permitting, which is standard.

On May 9, the Aberdeen City Council approved the annexation of 4.61 acres at 1314 Brown Co. Highway 19. The land is now part of city limits and will be used for the development of the rail line, according to Bockorny.

These requests are likely in preparation for the submittal of other plans, Hubbart said.

At a December news conference, AGP CEO Keith Spackler said final construction decisions were contingent on negotiations, but officials were proceeding with detailed engineering and then permitting.

At that time, he projected roughly 18 months before construction would begin.

“You won’t see anything out there until this fall at the earliest and maybe not even until next spring,” Bockorny said.

Right now, ADC is still the owner of the property within the Whitewood Industrial Park, which is why the request is from it rather than AGP. Eventually AGP will purchase the property, according to Bockorny.

The plant should open in 2019.

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AGP, by the numbers:

24/350: hours and days per year the plant will operate

50: estimated full-time jobs created, all with competitive wages and benefits

100: mile radius around Aberdeen for sourcing soybeans

150-200: number of workers estimated needed to help build the plant

300: acres set aside for the construction of the plant in the Whitewood Industrial Park

1 million: tons of soybean meal to be produced yearly

40 million: number of bushels of beans plan will be able to crush yearly

465 million: pounds of crude soybean oil to be produced annually

12-18: estimated months of permitting process prior to construction

2019: projected year of opening

Undisclosed: cost of the plant, but Aberdeen’s is the largest single investment in AGP history, according to CEO Keith Spackler

Source: American News archives