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Partners Form New Coal-to-Liquids Company

Three companies exploring development of a North Dakota coal-to-liquids (CTL) co-generation project have established a single company, American Lignite Energy, to evaluate the project. Partners in American Lignite Energy include Headwaters Energy Services, Great River Energy, and The North American Coal Corporation.

During the past several months, the American Lignite Energy partners have completed several preliminary engineering, environmental and market studies that indicate North Dakota could be a promising location for a coal-to-liquids facility. The partners are forming American Lignite Energy and are commencing more detailed engineering activities to further their analysis.

In addition to transportation fuels, the plant would also produce electric power, certain petrochemical feedstocks, and carbon dioxide for enhanced oil recovery.

The proposed coal-to-liquids project would produce approximately 32,000 barrels of fuel per day and utilize approximately 10 million tons of North Dakota lignite annually. Final site identification is under way. If the project were to move forward, engineering and permitting of the facility could take at least two years. Financing and construction of the facility would take at least four additional years.

Engineering activities are being supported in part by the North Dakota’s Lignite Research Fund. The North Dakota Industrial Commission has committed $10 million toward the project—$1.2 million of which is expected to be expended in the next phase of engineering, permitting, and site development. American Lignite Energy will provide matching funding in order to receive the state assistance.


Kirk Ellis

Rather than companies looking for a government hand-out, I'd be happier if the government simply guaranteed a price.

Say CTL or shale oil or whatever alternative producer thinks they can profitably sell their petroleum alternative as long as prices are more that $30/bbl. I'd like to see the government guarantee, "Produce it and if you can't sell it for more than $35/bbl, we'll make up the difference."

That would take the risk out of capital investment, unless the the project is just a boondoggle to begin with. Protect the investors from OPEC pulling the rug out from under them by increasing supply.

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