North Dakota’s Industrial Commission delayed approval of a $1 million grant that would promote the manufacture of anhydrous ammonia in order to gather more information about the financial feasibility of the project.
In recent years, North Dakota’s oil production has expanded rapidly, increasing the state’s output of natural gas, an oil byproduct. More than a third of the state’s natural gas production is burned off and wasted because pipelines to bring the fuel to market haven’t been built, the Jamestown Sun reported.
The project would set up portable plants that would offer a supply of fertilizer to farmers while cutting down on gas waste. Documents about the project indicate that each portable unit could potentially product about 1,100 tons of anhydrous ammonia per year. Considering that North Dakota farmers used 350,000 tons of anhydrous ammonia in 2011, that production could be very financially beneficial for the state and for other NH3 users.
The commission oversees the disbursements of state research funds for oil and coal projects. The three-member commission includes Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, Gov. Jack Dalrymple and Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring.