The feasibility analysis begins by examining the economic potential of using flared natural gas as a feedstock to produce a low-cost, reliable, and sustainable supply of nitrogen fertilizer for North Dakota farmers. Objectives include:
- Determining the most profitable facility size, location, and configuration for a natural gas nitrogen fertilizer production facility in North Dakota.
- Calculating the financial returns and capital requirements of gas-based nitrogen fertilizer production.
- Identifying possible business structures for the fertilizer production facility.
Project objectives are achieved by evaluating the technological and economic feasibility of alternative nitrogen fertilizer production and distribution company systems.
- Flared Gas Collection: the economics of flared gas collection in western North Dakota analyzes the availability of flared gas supplies.
- Ammonia Plant Preliminary Design: several ammonia production plants based on commercially available technologies are used to estimate capital and operating cost.
- Business Structure: the effect of alternative business structures, including new generation cooperatives, on incorporation, capitalization, taxation, and fertilizer marketing are investigated.
- Facility Siting: factors in determining optimal plant site include fertilizer form (e.g. ammonia, urea), technological and economies of scale, transportation and utility infrastructure, and nitrogen fertilizer demand. The use of natural gas in western and eastern North Dakota and co-location by existing coal-fired power plants or refineries are considered.