Dakota Gas approves urea plant near Beulah, N.D.

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Dakota Gasification Company's board of directors has approved the addition of a urea production facility at Dakota Gas’ Great Plains Synfuels Plant near Beulah, N.D., at a special meeting Jan. 27. Dakota Gas is a subsidiary of Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Bismarck, ND.

Urea, a granular fertilizer commonly used in agricultural applications, will mark the 10th co-product for the Synfuels Plant. Dakota Gas currently produces two other fertilizers, ammonia and ammonium sulfate (Dak Sul 45).

“We are happy to build on the fertilizer products we already manufacture, and believe the addition of urea will bring more benefit to the agricultural community,” said Paul Sukut, Dakota Gasification Company interim chief executive officer and general manager.

Urea production requires anhydrous ammonia and carbon dioxide, both of which are produced at the Synfuels Plant. According to Sukut, urea has the highest nitrogen content of all solid fertilizers, but costs less to handle, store and transport than other nitrogen-based fertilizers.

The project includes construction of a storage facility that can hold about 53,000 tons of granular urea, as well as a new load-out facility for trucks and railcars with the capacity to load up to 110 railcars in a single shipment. The urea plant is scheduled for completion in early 2017 and will produce 1,100 tons of urea daily.

The new facility will also produce diesel emission fluid (DEF), the 11th co-product for the Synfuels Plant. DEF is used to reduce NOx emissions in diesel engines, as mandated by the federal government on all new diesel engines. A 1.1-million gallon stainless steel storage tank will be constructed at the plant to store the DEF.

The Dakota Gas board of directors approved funding to study a potential urea plant in October 2012. This Front-End Engineering and Design study was completed in October 2013. The new urea facility is projected to cost approximately $402 million.


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