Dakota Gasification Company, a for profit subsidiary of Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Bismarck, ND, owns and operates the Great Plains Synfuels Plant, a coal gasification complex near Beulah, ND. The Synfuels Plant produces pipeline quality synthetic natural gas and related products.
American dream on the North Dakota prairie
Basin Electric Power Cooperative (Basin Electric), through its for profit subsidiary, Dakota Gasification Company (Dakota Gas), owns and operates the Great Plains Synfuels Plant (Synfuels Plant). The Synfuels Plant is the only commercial scale coal gasification plant in the United States that manufactures natural gas. It is also the cleanest energy plant operating in the state of North Dakota, according to a comparison of emissions data available from the North Dakota Department of Health.
- Average daily production of natural gas is about 150 million cubic feet, the majority of which is piped to Ventura, IA, for distribution in the Eastern United States.
- The Synfuels Plant supplies carbon dioxide to the world's largest carbon capture and storage project in Saskatchewan, Canada. Dakota Gas currently captures up to 3 million metric tons of carbon dioxide per year.
- The $2.1 billion plant began operating in 1984. Using Lurgi gasifiers, the Synfuels Plant gasifies lignite coal to produce valuable gases and liquids. Located five miles northwest of Beulah, ND, the Synfuels Plant has been owned and operated by Dakota Gas since 1988.
- About $665 million has been invested in the Synfuels Plant since 1988 to achieve environmental compliance, improve efficiency, and diversify the product slate.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) capture and storage
- Dakota Gas captures and sells CO2 produced at the plant to two customers and transports it through a 205-mile pipeline to Saskatchewan, Canada, to be used for enhanced oil recovery in the Weyburn and Midale fields. The first CO2 was sent to Canada in October 2000.
- Dakota Gas exports about 152 million cubic feet per day of CO2 to Canada about 50 percent of the CO2 produced when running at full rates.
- As of April 10, 2017, Dakota Gas has captured more than 34 million metric tons of CO2.
CO2 from other power plants is very wet and diluted with nitrogen and oxygen and requires further processing, but Dakota Gas' process results in a CO2 stream that is very dry and 96 percent pure, so no additional processing is needed.
The Synfuels Plant's unique gasification operations and CO2 capture and transport continue to draw worldwide attention. Visitors from Germany, China, Italy, Korea, Great Britain and Japan, the United States and other nations have toured our facilities. National media from 60 Minutes, The History Channel, and Fox News, and television reporters from London, Tokyo, and Montreal have produced reports and special programs about the plant.