Leland Olds Station and Basin Electric Marketing teams turned a former cost into a benefit

Basin Electric’s Leland Olds Station and Marketing teams partnered to turn an $875,000 cost into a net benefit of $1.6 million annually.

Leland Olds produces over 100,000 tons of bottom ash each year. Historically, bottom ash was mostly landfilled safely in accordance with regulations. But suddenly, Marketing saw new opportunities in the market.

“As we entered 2022, the demand became strong for bottom ash,” Andrew Jones, Dakota Gas executive account manager of chemical production, says.

Bottom ash at Leland Olds Station near Stanton, North Dakota.

In the past, 30-50% of Leland Olds’ bottom ash was sold, and the remainder was landfilled.

“We had been selling a portion of the product at relatively low prices, but Leland Olds was still incurring the cost to haul and landfill the rest of the bottom ash,” Jason Cowan, Leland Olds Station plant manager, says.

By not landfilling the bottom ash, Basin Electric will realize a savings of $875,000 annually.

“Looking at the amount being saved by not paying landfilling fees and the money generated through these new contracts, Basin Electric’s net benefit equates to $1.6 million annually,” Cowan says. “To compare, in prior years we incurred a net cost of $500,000 annually.”

Jones says that as fewer producers are in the market, the demand and prices for by-products like bottom ash will continue to escalate.

“Marketing’s focus paired with the can-do spirit of the Leland Olds team will ensure that we take advantage of ever-increasing demands and reap the benefits of rising prices for these products, which translates to greater revenue for Basin Electric,” Jones says.

The bottom ash sold from Leland Olds Station will be used for roofing granules, roofing sealers, metal abrasion, binder in airport runways, and rocks in fish tanks.

The bottom ash is loaded and moved by the yard operators at Leland Olds Station.

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