The urea brownfield in Beulah, North Dakota, has been under construction since mid-2014. It didn't start-up in early 2017, as originally scheduled, but it is now, finally, more-or-less finished, and its owners have announced a new schedule for the start of production.
2016 was a transformative year for the North American ammonia industry but, in 2017, the bigger impact will be on the urea industry.
Here's an update on four urea expansions expected on-stream this year and next, which will add almost two million tons of new urea capacity. In the process, they'll reduce the amount of ammonia that's available for sale by more than one million tons.
And, as a bonus, I have news on an embattled "clean coal" project that, in what might be a last gasp attempt at a viable business model, could potentially add another 1.5 million tons of urea in Texas.
UPDATED: 01/10/2018 - see Change Log
OWNER: Dakota Gasification Company (Basin Electric Power Cooperative)
PROJECT: Existing plant, urea brownfield
SUMMARY STATUS: Commissioning phase
Construction on the new urea plant began in Summer 2014, and would have been complete mid-2017. In 2016, however, destructive storms flattened the new urea storage building, which had to be demolished and the foundations ripped out before construction could restart. Commissioning is now underway, and full start-up is expected early in 2018. Granular urea will now be the 11th product made at the Great Plains Synfuels Plant (the 12th will be DEF), and fertilizers now represent more than 50% of the plant's expected revenues.