Chinese company picks Grand Forks for manufacturing plant

November 6, 2021 GMT

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) — A Chinese company has chosen Grand Forks as the site of a manufacturing facility that city officials said Saturday could be the largest private sector investment in the community’s history.

Fufeng Group Ltd. picked an approximately 370 acre (150 hectare) site in Grand Forks’ agri-business park. The facility is expected to initially require 25 million bushels of corn annually, the city’s announcement said,

The announcement did not give the size of the investment or specify which products will be made there. Fufeng makes products for the animal nutrition, food and beverage, pharmaceutical, health and wellness, oil and gas, and other industries. It’s a leading producer of xanthan gum. This will be its first U.S.-based manufacturing facility, the city said.

“Adding value to our corn and other raw commodities is critical to North Dakota’s long-term economic success, and this value-added project represents a huge opportunity for producers and workers in the Grand Forks area and our entire state,” Gov. Doug Burgum said in a statement.

Construction is expected to employ up to 1,000 workers for up to three years, said Keith Lund, president and CEO of the Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corporation. “Once operational we anticipate 233 direct jobs and 525 indirect jobs will be created, for a total of over 750 new jobs in our region,” he said.

Fufeng officials are planning to visit Grand Forks later this month to meet with state and local leaders to continue the due diligence process and work toward finalizing a development agreement.