Officials with a North Dakota company and a Chinese engineering firm sat down at the state Capitol on Monday to sign a memorandum of understanding that could lead to a large fertilizer plant in the state.

Signing the document were Darin Anderson, chairman of Northern Plains Nitrogen LLP of Grand Forks, and Wang Lvbei, vice president of China Chengda Engineering Co., Ltd.

“This is a win-win … for both Chinese and North Dakota companies,” Lvbei said via a translator.

Northern Plains Nitrogen board member Bill Owens said the non-binding document establishes a relationship between the companies for the “building, engineering and funding of a significant fertilizer plant.”

The agreement relates to the planned $1.7 billion nitrogen fertilizer plant near Grand Forks by Northern Plains Nitrogen. The plant is tentatively set to be completed and in operation by 2017.

Gov. Jack Dalrymple said the state’s abundant natural gas resources could be put to good use at the plant.

A plant capable of providing nitrogen fertilizer to producers would be “a boon for the western part of the state and the eastern part of the state,” Anderson said.

Reach Nick Smith at 250-8255 or 223-8482 or at nick.smith@bismarcktribune.com.

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