American Lignite Energy (ALE) Coal-to-Liquids Project
In May of 2006, the NDIC approved investing $10 million in a Coal-to-Liquids (CTL) Plant Project in which ALE (Great River Energy, The Falkirk Mining Company, Headwaters Energy Services Corporation, and The North American Coal Corporation) have been working together to conduct the necessary pre-front-end engineering and design (pre-FEED) process study. ALE has conducted the following Pre-FEED studies: coal testing, water supply assessment, coal mine plan, preliminary process design packages, preliminary air modeling, market studies and a FEED execution plan. After reviewing several potential locations, ALE has selected the McLean County Falkirk Mine vicinity. The NDIC has signed a contract committing $1.7 million to the project through ALE’s first “go” or “no-go” decision point which has been re-scheduled from December 31, 2008 to December 31, 2010.
Resolution of the uncertainty, with respect to favorable CTL policy adoption at the federal level, is critical to achieve financing from prospective investors. The upcoming ALE “go, no-go” decision involves whether they will proceed with a FEED study. It would be the next step in the plan to construct and operate a coal-to-liquid fuels plant in North Dakota. The FEED study would take about a year and cost well over $50 million. When in commercial operation, the plant would use 11.5 million tons of lignite per year to produce 30,000 barrels of gasoline per day, 100 MW of electricity for export, and other chemicals and fuels.