Basin Electric advances urea project at coal synfuel plant

Basin Electric Power Cooperative – November 21, 2014

Unseasonably cold temperatures have not slowed down urea project activity at Dakota Gasification Company’s Great Plains Synfuels Plant.

Jim Greer, Basin Electric senior project manager, said the engineering for the project is 40 percent complete and a flurry of activity continues.

“The project remains on schedule and within budget,” Greer said. “We have a lot of work going on and the project continues on track.”

Contractors broke ground in July for the $402 million urea facility, which is projected to be complete and producing about 1,100 tons of urea daily by the second quarter of 2017.

According to Greer, several thousand pieces of equipment will be purchased to complete the project, including a variety of pumps, meters, heat exchangers, filters, product coolers, granulators, instruments, pressure safety valves and regulators. Some of the major pieces of equipment being procured right now include the boiler, granulator, carbon dioxide liquefaction package and carbon dioxide storage tanks.

The site preparation work also continues with the dirt and civil work on the parking lot now complete.

“At beginning of November we had about 55 contractors on-site,” Greer said. “By the end of the month, we will have 10-15 contractors remaining.”

Work continues on the storm sewer piping, firewater loop installation and the access road. Preparation work continues for the trailer village, with the electrical work currently in progress. Design work is ongoing for the pilings that will be drilled for the underlying support for the urea melt and granulations building. Piling drilling will begin in March.

Greer said engineering is being finalized on the three high-pressure vessels in Austria. The high-pressure stripper, scrubber and pool reactor are being fabricated by Stamicarbon in their factory in Ternitz, Austria. The equipment is expected to be completed by August 2015, and will require two months transportation time from Austria.

“A lot of energy and momentum continues on the project,” Greer said. “The project team continues to work hard, making many decisions and following a very aggressive construction schedule. In the end, we look forward to completing a quality designed and built project.”