Ruling lets North Dakota group nix partner for soybean plant
FARGO, N.D. (AP) — The Spiritwood Energy Park Association says it will be looking for another business partner to build a $287 million soybean processing plant in North Dkoata after a judge’s ruling gave the group a path to end its contract with the North Dakota Soybean Processors.
The soybean group filed a lawsuit in August after the Jamestown-based energy park pulled out of the deal with the soybean group. Cass County Judge Tristan Van de Streek granted a temporary restraining order on Aug. 13 because he said the soybean processors had a “substantial probability” of prevailing in the suit. Cass County Judge Stephanie Stiel thought otherwise and on Thursday lifted the order.
Stiel replaced Van de Streek after attorneys with the energy park filed a motion last month demanding a new judge.
The energy park announced on July 24 that it was terminating its agreement with the soybean processors. Following Van De Streek’s order, the soybean group said in a release that it remained “ready, willing and able” to proceed with the facility and intended to “aggressively protect its rights” to be part of the only soybean-crushing facility in North Dakota.
Connie Ova, CEO for the Spiritwood Energy Park Association, said it was frivolous lawsuit and Stiel’s ruling was based on the law and common sense.
“We have no interest in defending unfounded lawsuits when our time and resources could be better spent creating jobs for our residents and markets for our farmers,” said Ova, who added that her group will “continue its efforts” to seek a new construction partner.
Officials with the North Dakota Soybean Processors declined to comment and its lawyers said they would not discuss pending cases. The group’s website is still promoting the project and courting investors.