A $400 million electrical power plant that would be fueled by cheap ethane gas—now priced at 15 cents a gallon—should be up and running by 2024 on a 100-acre site in Williams County, developers say. The exact location was not disclosed.
The electricity would be sold to Mountrail Williams Electric Cooperative, which could use it for its own customers or sell it.
The only other power plant in the US using ethane was recently opened in Cambria County, PA. The 1,050 megawatt Fairview Energy Center is fueled by a combination of 75% methane and 25% ethane.
Bakken Midstream Natural Gas, LLC was given a $200,000 state grant two years ago and has raised another $25 million led by investor Steven Lebow. Investors can expect a “fair return” , said CEO Mike Hopkins.
He said details of the ethane pipeline gathering system are unknown at this time until producers are signed up. One company has committed to sell its ethane.
This year will be focused on site work, engineering and raising money. Siemens will furnish the turbines for the 24/7 baseload plant that will produce “several hundred megawatts”.
“Ethane has a higher heat content that pipeline quality natural gas and leaving high volumes of ethane in the natural gas stream limits export capabilities and adversely impacts the downstream consumers of North Dakota’s natural gas,” Hopkins said.
The project was praised by Gov. Doug Burgum who said the porposed plant with “create high paying jobs and diversify our economy”.