Successful production underway at Dakota Gas urea plant

North Dakota’s first urea fertilizer production facility, located at Dakota Gasification Company’s Great Plains Synfuels Plant near Beulah, North Dakota, is successfully making product.

Urea is a dry, granular fertilizer commonly used in agricultural applications, and has the highest nitrogen content of all solid fertilizers. The facility produced urea for the first time Jan. 19. Employees are currently working toward the goal of producing up to 1,100 tons of product per day.

“I want to thank the employees of Dakota Gasification Company and Basin Electric for working safely and efficiently to achieve this major milestone,” said Paul Sukut, Basin Electric CEO and general manager. “Hard work and innovation are hallmarks of America’s Heartland, and I’m proud that the completion of this project carries on that tradition.

The plant has the ability to shift a portion of the urea production to produce diesel exhaust fluid, used to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides from diesel engines. Additionally, the new facility has the capability of producing liquefied carbon dioxide, which is expected to be used in the oil production industry. The products bring the Synfuels Plants total product count to 13.

Construction on the project started in July 2014. About 40 permanent employees were added to operate the new facility. The target market area for urea will be about a 250-mile radius from the Synfuels Plant, with current total demand in the region (North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Montana) about 2.8 million short tons per year. The Synfuels Plant’s production will fulfill about 15 percent of that demand.