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Company plans nitrogen fertilizer plant in ND

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) -- State and local leaders in North Dakota announced Thursday plans to build a new $1.5 billion nitrogen fertilizer production facility northwest of Grand Forks.

Gov. Jack Dalrymple and Grand Forks Mayor Michael Brown were joined by others in announcing that Northern Plains Nitrogen intended to build the new facility. The plant will produce nitrogen-based fertilizers by converting natural gas into anhydrous ammonia and urea.

"This plant will utilize the increasing supplies of natural gas across the region and will provide a reliable regional supply of fertilizer while reducing producers' dependence on imported products," Dalrymple said.

The company announced plans for a study examining specifications and infrastructure needs. If complete, the plant will produce more than 600,000 tons of nitrogen per year and employ approximately 135 full-time employees.

Construction is scheduled to begin in spring 2015, with an estimated completion date in spring 2017.