VOLGA, SOUTH DAKOTA, US — South Dakota Soybean Processors, LLC (SDSP) will build a multi-seed processing plant near Mitchell, South Dakota, US, the company announced Feb. 9. The plant will have the capacity to process 35 million bushels of soybeans annually or the equivalent 1 million tonnes of higher-oil crops.

Tom Kersting, chief executive officer of SDSP, said increasing demand for vegetable oil is driving demand and the expansion of soybean processing in the United States. Pending engineering, permitting and negotiations with state and local officials, the new plant is expected to be operational in 2025. Situated on the BNSF railway, this will be the third soybean processing plant built by SDSP, which also has facilities in Volga and Miller, South Dakota. It is expected to create 50 full-time jobs.

“A plant with the ability to also process high-oil seed crops such as sunflowers significantly reduces the risk of the project and puts the plant in a much better position for long-term success,” said Kersting, who noted sunflowers can produce twice as much oil per acre than soybeans. “In addition to being near an abundant supply of soybeans, the plant’s western location is tributary to the western side of the state, an area well suited for the production of high-oil crops such as sunflowers and camelina.”

Kersting said the Mitchell area also is experiencing significant growth in hog and dairy production, leading to an increased demand for soybean and sunflower meal.