Plans move forward for proposed North Dakota beef plant

North Dakota ranchers working with South Korean investors to build a beef slaughter plant have committed to supply 450,000 animals a year to the facility.

North Dakota Beef Exports is working with the Kim and Price Corp. to build the plant in central North Dakota.

NDBE said the plant would export 60 percent of its output to South Korea, with he rest going into the American domestic market.

Planning is underway to open the facility by early 2012.

Rancher and grain farmer Bill Price of Center, N.D., recently asked the city of Bismarck for its opinion about locating the plant there.

Jack Kim of FK Partners, an Asian investment fund from Korea and Hong Kong that works with structured financing projects in commodities such as oil and gas, is the other major investor.

Planning for a new plant began after North Dakota ranchers met Kim during an 2008 trade mission and later acquainted him with the Price family and its cattle feeding operations.

North Dakota produces about 850,000 beef calves annually.

The company plans to employ 500 people at the new packing business.