No injuries, isolated damage reported after fire at Dakota Gas

A March 30 fire at the Great Plains Synfuels Plant near Beulah, North Dakota, resulted in no injuries, isolated damage, and no impact to fertilizer production. The fire rescue team from Dakota Gasification Company acted quickly to extinguish the fire.

The fire started while maintenance was being performed in one of the plant’s 14 cooling tower cells. An investigation is underway to fully understand why the fire prevention procedures were not effective in this situation and how to prevent reoccurrence. The site of the fire was monitored continuously until the following morning. 

The plant remained in operation, though at a reduced rate, throughout the entire incident.

Currently one of the cooling tower cells is out of service and two others are partially damaged so the cooling tower is not performing at maximum capacity. “Fortunately the current cool weather is providing some natural cooling throughout the plant and it helps the cooling tower perform better. This means that the plant is still able to run near full capacity and the economic impact is minimal,” said Dale Johnson, vice president and manager of the Synfuels Plant.

“We are thankful for Dakota Gas’ firefighters for their quick action, which minimized damage,” Johnson said. “Most importantly, we are thankful no one was hurt. Plant personnel jumped in to get nearly all the cooling towers up and running safely after the fire and did an excellent job returning the plant to nearly full production."

At this time, there is not a timeframe for when repairs will be completed. A plan is still being developed.

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