While many plants use coal to produce electricity, others, like one near Beulah, use coal and convert it to natural gas.
But not right now.
The Great Plains SynFuels Plant is currently in "black plant" mode. This means the two processing lines -- known as "trains" -- that produce natural gas are shut down for maintenance.
"This gives us an opportunity to look at some of the facilitites, those common facilities, that would be running regardless of which train was down or up, so that's the significance of this black plant outage," says Daryl Hill, Manager, Media & Communications Relations, Basin Electric Power Cooperative.
The entire outage lasts about five weeks and involves about 1,200 workers at peak activity. Great Plains is expected to be back in full production by the end of the month. When at full capacity, the plant produces enough natural gas daily to meet the heating needs of about 4,000 homes per day.
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