This project should've been right up EEE's alley. They must be losing their touch.
South Heart project would dry water from coal
By LAUREN DONOVAN Bismarck Tribune
Great Northern Power Development plans to use yet another strategy to make its proposed coal project near South Heart more environmentally friendly.
Great Northern and its partner, Allied Syngas, said Wednesday they will go to Australia for technology that essentially squeezes water from lignite coal.
The process is called "beneficiation," and it reduces the water in coal, freeing up water for use in the plant and making the coal into briquettes that burn hotter with less pollution.
Lignite is about 40 percent water, and other coal plants, including Great River Energy's Coal Creek Station at Underwood, are using technology that dries coal before burning it, using less coal for combustion and decreasing coal ash and emissions.
"The beneficiated coal will yield a higher heating value, improving its energy efficiency, resulting in a smaller environmental footprint," says Chuck Kerr, Great Northern's president and chief executive officer. "The GTL Energy technology enables us to further our mission to make the South Heart gasification project one of the cleanest coal-based plants in the world."
The Australia-based company, GTL Energy USA, describes its process as "a robust, low temperature beneficiating technology, which has been thoroughly tested on coals from around the world."
Great Northern Power Development is the project development subsidiary of Great Northern Properties, owner of vast coal reserves acquired from Burlington Northern Railroad.
The company plans to construct a $1.4 billion coal mine and gasification plant near South Heart.
On Monday, it acquired local zoning for the coal mine and plans to file a mine application permit later this month with the Public Service Commission.
Great Northern originally planned to construct a coal-fired power plant, but switched gears to coal gasification last year. The gasification plant is still in engineering design stages.
The gasification process creates a stream of carbon dioxide that the company plans to sell to oil producers to enhance oil recovery nearby.
Injection of CO2 into deep oil wells sequesters the gas and could get the company out from under impending federal regulations regarding emission of greenhouses gases.
Great Northern also said selling the natural gas through a nearby pipeline would be easier than finding or building electric transmission capacity.
In addition to their commitment to establish a commercial installation of the GTL Energy process at South Heart, GNPD and Allied Syngas have committed to acquire a direct ownership position in GTL Energy. The parties will be working together closely on a number of other joint opportunities to develop clean energy resources.