North Dakota farmers will soon have the benefit of home grown urea thanks to a brownfield project at the Great Plains Synfuels facility near Beulah, ND. Urea will be the 13th product offering produced at the facility and will bring the plant's percentage of revenue from fertilizer output to 51%.
The project has been under construction for the last three years and while it was originally expected to be online by the end of 2017, construction crews have finally handed the keys over to technical specialists who believe they will be ready to begin producing urea alongside other nitrogen products already in production by the end of January. When fully operational, the facility will produce up to 1,100 tons of urea pellets daily, utilizing roughly half of the plant's existing anhydrous ammonia output as feedstock.
According to a Bismark Tribune article the cost of urea in the area has been largely driven by transport costs and with the ability to service a 250 to 300 mile radius which will include the Dakotas, Minnesota and Montana, a state where farmers rely heavily on urea as a nitrogen source.
As costs mount to transport urea from Canada, Iowa and China, the new addition to the Beulah facility will help limit nitrogen costs in the northern and western plains, and help farmers increase profitability.