WAUPUN, Wis. — Developers plan to build a $150 million soybean processing plant at an industrial park in eastern Wisconsin.

Waupun officials announced the project developed by the Wisconsin Soybean Crushing Plant in a press release on Wednesday, The Daily Citizen reported .

Crushing facilities process soybeans into soy oil, soy protein and meal used for animal feed. Soybeans produced in Wisconsin currently have to be shipped out of state for processing.

Wisconsin has about 18,000 soybean farmers who produced 101 million bushels in 2017, according to the press release.

The plant could decrease the Wisconsin soybean industry's carbon footprint by reducing the amount of crop that has to be transported, said Robert Karls, executive director of the Soybean Marketing Board.

The project would help diversify the city's economy, said Waupun City Administrator Kathy Schlieve.

WSBCP is seeking an air pollution permit from the state Department of Natural Resources. A public hearing on the permit will be held June 28, while public input on the permit will be collected until July 11.

If the permit is approved, the developer and city officials would next have to finalize investment details, engineering work and creating a tax-increment financing district.

The facility will be able to process more than 3,500 tons of soybeans daily, according to the air permit application. The facility is expected to employ almost 40 full-time staff, a press release said.

The plant would be located on a more than 66-acre portion of city-owned land. Construction would begin next year with the facility opening in 2020.