A proposed nitrogen facility near Spiritwood, North Dakota had been stalled as officials from CHS nitrogen and the Spiritwood Township Board of Supervisors could not come to an agreement on building permit fees. Industry standards have the fee at one dollar for every $1,000 in construction expenditures. In the case of the Spiritwood nitrogen facility, that adds up to $1 million.
The funds would be used by the Township to support infrastructure related to the project. When the Board initially forwarded the fee, CHS asked for some time to consider what they might do to reduce that fee. There was talk CHS would fund road improvements directly, rather than leaving the matter to the Township.
The Board met once again on Monday and are holding firm to the original plan which includes the $1 million building permit fee. The total cost of the project will near $1.5 billion upon completion.
The project is one of two nitrogen production houses planned in North Dakota and both hope to take advantage of favorable natural gas economics, and ease of transport to high demand agricultural areas. The United States currently relies on imports for over half of the nitrogen used by growers and that is not likely to change, even with the introduction of the handful of nitrogen projects already underway in the U.S.
If CHS refuses to pull the trigger on this much needed project over a million dollar standard fee, one can be sure that another proposed project will look to fill the void.