Dakota Gasification Plant
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At a Glance

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Great Plains Synfuels Plant

  • The Great Plains Synfuels Plant (Synfuels Plant) is the only commercial-scale coal gasification plant in the United States that manufactures natural gas.
  • The $2.1-billion plant was built in response to America's quest for energy independence during the 1970s energy crisis by a group of five interstate pipeline companies, Great Plains Gasification Associates (GPGA), of which American Natural Gas (ANG) was the majority partner.
  • Located near Beulah, ND, and adjacent to Basin Electric's Antelope Valley Station (AVS), a 900-megawatt baseload electric generating plant. The Synfuels Plant and AVS share certain facilities and coal and water supplies: AVS supplies the Synfuels Plant with electricity, and the Synfuels Plant supplies several of Basin Electric's gas peaking facilities with synthetic natural gas (SNG).
  • Using the Lurgi process, ANG began gasifying lignite coal into SNG in 1984
  • U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) acquired the plant in 1985.
  • Dakota Gasification Company, a for-profit subsidiary of Basin Electric Power Cooperative, acquired the plant from the DOE in 1988 pursuant to an Asset Purchase Agreement. Dakota Gas made its final payment to the DOE in February 2010.  The U.S. government has recouped $1.3 billion of its original investment in the plant through revenue sharing, tax credits surrendered and the revenue received during ownership, .
  • Fueled by domestic lignite coal reserves in western North Dakota.
  • Gasifies more than 6 million tons of coal annually.
  • Average daily production is approximately 153 million standard cubic feet of synthetic natural gas.
  • Sells more than 54 billion standard cubic feet of SNG annually.  
  • Transports synthetic natural gas through a 34-mile pipeline where it connects to the Northern Border Pipeline for delivery to homes and businesses in the eastern United States.
  • Produces fertilizers, solvents, phenol, carbon dioxide, and other chemical products for sale.
  • Dakota Gas has one for-profit subsidiary, Souris Valley Pipeline LTD, which has the capacity to deliver up to 165 mmscf of carbon dioxide daily to two Canadian oil fields for enhanced oil recovery.
  • Since 2000 the plant has captured and transported more than 21 million metric tons of CO2 for geologic sequestration.
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Tours and plant info

Joan Dietz, Communications Specialist
Tel: 701.873.6667
Fax: 701.873.6404

National Treasure

“The gasification plant is a national treasure and I think it should be recognized as such. It is absolutely amazing…the combination of the gas plant, Antelope Valley Station and the {Freedom} mine right next to each other – there is just no other facility complex like it – it’s unmatched in the world. You should be proud of that fact.”

– Dr. Robert Peltier, editor-in-chief, POWER magazine

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