Grand Rapids Herald
JDI Contracts, Inc. (JDI) and Northern Industrial Erectors (NIE) played a large role in the successful deployment of a new innovative technology called "DryFining" at Great River Energy's (GRE) Coal Creek Station in central North Dakota.
The DryFining technology refines lignite coal so it burns more efficiently and releases fewer emissions into the environment. GRE placed its DryFining system into commercial service in December 2009 following a major retrofit at its Coal Creek Station near Underwood, N.D.
JDI, based in Grand Rapids, was involved throughout the project as a construction manager and owner's representative. Comprehensive services were provided, including construction and site management, overall project scheduling, transition planning, contractor integration, materials management, and expediting. A combined project leadership team, led and facilitated by JDI, began work in mid 2007 to complete scheduling, transition and construction plans. JDI also provided control systems engineering services for the project, provided startup leadership, and worked closely with a GRE startup team, culminating in successful commercialization.
NIE, also based in Grand Rapids, provided general contractor services for the civil, structural, architectural and machinery erection of the project. After completing the construction phase, which took more than two years, NIE also provided startup services and construction maintenance until the project was completed,
During the project, NIE employed more than 200 full-time construction craft personnel and JDI provided more than 20 management and engineering jobs.
"We are so happy to be a part of a great project team that worked so hard and closely together to accomplish a demanding project schedule. In addition, we are very proud to be involved with a new leading edge technology." Said Stan Bostyancic, President of NIE.
"It is with great pride, as part of a delegation of northern Minnesota companies, including NIE, Barr Engineering and North Engineering, that we were able to help with the development of the new technology with the great promise of DryFining. The project resulted in over 800 jobs for local workers, new technology development, and positive business activity for our companies during this tough economic downturn," said Roger I. Hoyum, President and founder of JDI.
Coal Creek Station, like many power plants throughout the world, uses lignite coal to generate electricity. Lignite is considered a low rank coal, due in part to its 39.5 percent moisture content. The coal-drying component of DryFining reduces the moisture content to about 29.5 percent, which will result in a 14 percent reduction in fuel input by weight at the power plant. The system also separates particles by density, removing a significant amount of heavier compounds containing sulfur and mercury rather than burning them in the boiler.
The overall benefit is a better burning coal, reduced fuel input into the broilers, increased overall plant efficiency and a significant reduction in emissions.
"The project is part of a larger, long-term strategy designed to lower costs and improve our environmental performance, while developing new technology and innovation to benefit the fossil fuels industry," said David Saggau, President and CEO of Great River Energy.