Basin wraps up maintenance outage at coal synfuels plant

Basin Electric Power Cooperative – July 12, 2013

The black plant maintenance outage, which began May 26 at the Synfuels Plant, is complete. Gas production returned July 5 when one train was returned to service. The second train came on line July 10. Full production is limited by B-superheater, though repairs are being made, and full rates are expected to resume this week.

Plant manager Dale Johnson said turnaround-related work continues as employees finish insulating areas where needed and removing scaffolding.

More than 7,000 maintenance tasks were completed during the outage with an additional 1,400 contractors on site at the peak of the outage.

Johnson said some of the key items completed include:

  • Replaced three large columns – the ammonia plant’s regeneration tower and oxygen plant’s two spray coolers;
  • Tied the new clean cooling water system into the plant;
  • Replaced cold service insulation in the rectisol area – an area that has operating temperatures down to -100 degrees F;
  • Numerous electrical repairs and replacements;
  • Numerous steam system repairs and replacements;
  • Cleaned most of the heat exchangers throughout the plant;
  • Replaced and repaired equipment that can only be accessed during a total plant outage;
  • Rebuilt the floors and structure in ammonium sulfate production area.

“We were able to complete a lot of work in this time frame, and feel that it will significantly improve the functionality and reliability of the Synfuels Plant,” Johnson said. “We are very proud of our staff. Their dedication to the project was truly impressive. We also appreciate the contractors for their support.”

Plans are to have a black plant maintenance outage at the Synfuels Plant about every 10 years. The next one is tentatively set for June 2023.