Wyoming Lime Producers celebrates 30-year operation anniversary

Celebrating 30 years of service are, back row, from left: Scott Allred, Tammy Jones, Grant Kibbey, Robert Layton, Ronald Bush, Robert Pace, Gary Morton, Cervando Vega, Jon Zeller. Middle row: Brian Tideman, Randy Banning, Pete Lien, Jeff Harris, Tucker Green. Front row: Zane Henderson, Quentin Poole, Patrick Harvey, Cherie Wambeke, Phong Nguyen, and Arnulfo Rodriguez. Picture credits to Carla Wensky, Powell Tribune photographer.

Jan. 23 marked the 30-year anniversary of Wyoming Lime Producers operation, a division of Dakota Coal Company. To celebrate, Pete Lien & Sons of Rapid City, South Dakota, hosted a family day picnic for its employees on May 12.

Wyoming Lime Producers owns the Frannie Lime Plant, a lime manufacturing plant near Frannie, Wyoming. Pete Lien & Sons operates the plant under a marketing and operating agreement. Since its inception in 1993, Wyoming Lime Producers has purchased limestone from a nearby quarry managed by Montana Limestone Company. In the last 30 years, more than 7.5 million tons of rock have been trucked from the quarry to the plant.

The lime produced at Wyoming Lime Producers is a vital ingredient in removing sulfur dioxide from emissions at Basin Electric’s coal-based power plants and as an environmental control additive in the Bakken oil field.

Tucker Green, manager of Wyoming Lime Producers, said the plant has produced so much lime that it would fill enough train cars to roughly connect the plant to its main customer, Antelope Valley Station, located in Beulah, North Dakota. Being 459 miles away, this amounts to nearly four million tons.

Green said the success of the plant comes from low employee turnover.

“It is my priority to make sure Wyoming Lime continues to be the safest and best place in the region to work,”  Green said. “That longevity and experience has been good for the plant.”

“The facility remains in a very good position to continue supplying lime for the Basin Electric customers of Antelope Valley Station and Laramie River Station," said Randy Banning, manager of Dakota Coal Company and Montana Limestone Company, and former plant manager of Wyoming Lime Producers. "Having been associated with this project from the groundbreaking in 1992, to the continued operation of today, has been an absolute pleasure. The close-knit group of the Wyoming Lime team is highly talented and bring a great attitude to every facet of the operation."

Customers of Wyoming Lime Producers include power plants operated by Basin Electric, PPL Montana, Colorado Energy, and Otter Tail Power Company.