Basin Electric readies for major push on urea project as winter recedes

Basin Electric Power Cooperative said Feb. 6 that progress continues on the urea plant construction project at Dakota Gasification Co.’s Great Plains Synfuels Plant in North Dakota as staff gears up for the upcoming construction season.

Contractors broke ground on the $402m urea facility in July 2014. The project is set to be complete and producing about 1,100 tons of urea per day early in 2017. About 185,000 gallons per day of diesel emissions fluid will also be produced in the unit and sold. The project continues on schedule and within budget, Basin noted.

Jim Greer, Basin Electric senior project manager, said that 15 employees assigned to the project recently moved to a trailer complex at the urea plant construction site. “It will be great to have all the employees assigned to this project working out of one location,” Greer said. “I see better coordination of activities as a bonus to having us in the same office area. It will also allow us quick and easy access to the construction site.”

The engineering for the project is now 50% complete, Greer said. The contracts staff has purchased more than 25 pieces of major mechanical equipment. Construction staff recently met with Aumund, an equipment vendor, for a kickoff meeting in Houston, Texas. In late February, staff will meet in Houston with representatives from Ebara, a Japanese firm that will fabricate four pumps for the project.

Many bid packages are currently out and due very soon. One of the major contracts to be awarded is for the CO2 liquefaction process. Liquid CO2 could potentially be sold as an additional product. The bid for general contractor will be awarded in April and is also a big decision, as is the contract award for the construction management team, Basin noted.

Stamicarbon continues fabrication of three high-pressure vessels in Ternitz, Austria. The high-pressure stripper, scrubber and pool reactor are on track to being complete by August 2015. It will take about two months for a freight company to transport the three pieces of equipment to the Synfuels Plant, which turns locally-mined lignite coal into a syngas for sale.

Pilings are set to be drilled for the underlying foundations for the urea melt and granulations building beginning in March. More than 750 contractors are expected to be onsite working on the project by 2016.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.