Fufeng corn milling plant project to be terminated; Air Force cites national security concerns

Published: Jan. 31, 2023 at 3:30 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (KFYR) – The United States Air Force made a big announcement Tuesday concerning a chunk of land acquired by a Chinese company in Grand Forks. So, what’s next for the $700 million proposed corn milling plant in northeastern North Dakota?

Senator Scott Meyer says the writing is on the wall for Fufeng in North Dakota.

“I don’t know how else to take that letter, it’s time to pull the plug,” said Senator Scott Meyer, R-Grand Forks.

The letter he’s referring to came from the Air Force, who announced their position on the land deal for the first time.

“The Air Force left no ambiguity when they said, ‘The proposed project presents a significant threat to national security with both near- and long-term risks of significant impacts to our operations in the area,’” said Senator Kevin Cramer, R-North Dakota.

And in fact, that’s exactly what’s happened. Grand Forks Mayor Brandon Bochenski announced he plans to stop the project, in accordance with requests from the Federal Government.

“The only remedies the city has to meet this directive is to refuse to connect industrial infrastructure and deny building permits… I am requesting these remedies be undertaken and the project be stopped, pending City Council approval,” said Bochenski in a statement.

North Dakota’s Congressional delegation has been firm in their opposition to the land deal.

“Instead of working with Fufeng, the city, all of us, should work together, as we’ve recommended, to find an American company for their Ag Park,” said Senator John Hoeven, R-North Dakota.

Fufeng USA will still own the land acquired for the plant.

Mayor Brandon Bochenski expressed frustration with the speed at which the federal government moved to offer an opinion about Fufeng. He called the process “slow and contradictory,” and said this “opens the question of other entities with Chinese connections across the nation, to include Grand Forks’ Cirrus Aircraft site location and Chinese students and professors at the University of North Dakota.”

Letter sent from the Air Force to Senator Hoeven
Letter sent from the Air Force to Senator Hoeven(Department of the Air Force)