Urea lines: one year later

BEULAH, N.D. - The Dakota Gasification Plant in Beulah is the first facility to make Urea, a new and highly sought after fertilizer.

Since January 2018, Basin Electric has been responsible for all of North Dakota's homemade Urea production. Demand for it has remained high. At max capacity, this plant is responsible for less than a third of all Urea used in North Dakota.

What makes it so special is its nitrogen levels. Urea has the highest of all solid fertilizers, according to company publication "Basin Today." Last spring, the town of Beulah saw a spike in traffic caused by the immediate demand for the fertilizer. Truckers waiting for hours in line for their share.

"It was our first Spring; we didn't really know what to expect as far as truck volumes and how those patterns were going to play out," Account Manager Zach Jacobson said.

This year, Basin said it spread out its sales to avoid similar back-ups. However, logistics were still an issue this year, causing price fluxes of $120 per ton.

"Urea pricing has been a roller coaster. The spring's season presented a lot challenges with all of the flooding that's been going on in the Midwest,” Jacobson said.

On top of this, training the staff for the new production came with a learning curve.

“We were able to make some mechanical improvements in the way we market our products; the whole logistics effort, we've made a lot of changes and improvements," Plant Manager Dale Johnson said.

The plant is hitting record production levels, now capable of making and holding 1,100 tons per day.

The plant produced more than 350,000 tons since operations began in January 2018. Urea is now responsible for more than half of the production capacity of the Beulah campus.