Monday night officials in Grand Forks, North Dakota stuck down a proposed corn mill due to national security risks. In a unanimous decision of 5-0 the Grand Forks City Council said that approving the corn mill Chinese company Fufeng Group wanted to build near the Grand Forks Air Base in North Dakota would not be happening. The Chinese-owned company, the Fufeng Group, describes itself as an “internationalized bio-fermentation products manufacturer.” And when they paid $2.3 million for the 300 acres of land that sits just 12 miles from Grand Forks Air Force Base, they thought they would be able to use it.
Grand Forks Air Force Base
Air Force Assistant Secretary Andrew Hunter warned against the Fufeng Project in a letter to North Dakota’s Senators. In the letter, he mentioned that “Grand Forks Air Force Base is the center of military activities related to both air and space operations.” He even warned that “the proposed project [the corn mill] presents a significant threat to the national security with both near- and long-term risks of significant impacts to our operations in the area.”
Leading To The Vote
Grand Forks mayor Brandon Bochenski stated that the city had options that would basically deny the group infrastructure and building permits. Meaning that in a way, they would have the land but they wouldn’t have the ability to do anything with it.
“Fufeng would be the largest foreign private sector investment in the history of Grand Forks” … adding that “the plant would bring in at least 200 jobs and millions in tax dollars.” Though the city was able to block the plant due to security issues. The future of the land and the the Fufeng group was left unclear.