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Synthetic Natural Gas

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Synfuels Plant facts

The Synfuels Plant is the only commercial-scale coal gasification plant in the U.S. that manufactures synthetic natural gas.

  • Operates using the Lurgi process
  • Average daily equivalent synthetic natural gas production: 160 MMSCF
  • Consumes 18,000 tons of lignite daily

The $2.1-billion plant began operating in 1984.

Natural gas pipeline map

Synthetic natural gas (SNG) is a gaseous fuel manufactured from coal using the coal gasification process.

Syngas produced at the Great Plains Synfuels Plant leaves the plant through a two-foot in diameter pipeline that transports the gas 34 miles to a gas portal on the Northern Border Pipeline.

The Northern Border Pipeline interconnects with a network of pipelines at Ventura, IA, where the gas is distributed throughout the eastern half of the United States.

Recovering energy for generation

Along the Northern Border Pipeline, there are six recovered energy generation (REG) power plants "fueled" by hot exhaust with a total generating capacity of about 33 megawatts (MW).

  • Each REG unit uses the hot exhaust gases from the compressor station to generate electricity.
  • Basin Electric Power Cooperative purchases the power from these units. Construction on the plants began in September 2005.
  • The plant sites are located near St. Anthony, Zeeland and Manning, ND, and near Wetonka, Clark and Estelline, SD. Two more stations are scheduled to be operational by the end of 2009, and are located near Culbertson, MT, and Garvin, MN.
  • The power plant equipment for this project was supplied and installed by Ormat Technologies, Inc., headquartered in Israel and Sparks, NV.
  • The Synfuels Plant has been owned and operated by Dakota Gasification Company since 1988. To learn more visit www.dakotagas.com.

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