In meetings with energy and agriculture industry leaders, Gov. Jack Dalrymple is encouraging investment in processing plants that would convert North Dakota's abundant supplies of natural gas into fertilizers.
"While we continue to supply the nation with high-quality natural gas, we can also continue to add value right here in North Dakota," Dalrymple said. "By converting more natural gas to fertilizer we can further diversify our economy; we can create a more reliable fertilizer supply for our farmers in North Dakota and throughout the Midwest and we can continue to reduce the flaring of natural gas."
Dalrymple has spoken with industry leaders who are considering investing in processing plants that would convert natural gas into nitrogen-based fertilizers such as anhydrous ammonia and urea. Standard-sized processing plants require an investment of up to $1 billion and can produce about 2,200 tons of nitrogen fertilizer daily.
Building plants near North Dakota's natural gas reserves would help ensure the long-term feasibility of the plants. Local production also would give the region's farmers a stable supply of fertilizer. Currently, fertilizers are imported to help meet demand, but the supply chain can be unpredictable and can result in price surges.
"We will continue working with the private sector to make better use of our natural gas reserves and to support North Dakota farmers at the same time," Dalrymple said.