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Partnership to expand Coal Creek products

MDN File Photo Coal Creek Station, located between Washburn and Underwood, produces fly ash and other byproducts of coal-fired electricity generation that have marketability.

BISMARCK – Eco Material Technologies and Rainbow Energy Center have partnered to jointly invest in new plants to turn waste products from Coal Creek Station into marketable materials.

Eco Material Technologies announced the partnership for the creation of beneficiation and harvesting plants, which will add to the existing partnership that markets high-quality fly ash in the concrete sector.

“We expect demand for high-quality sustainable cementitious materials (SCMs) like fly ash and pozzolans to grow rapidly over the next 10 years and we are excited to work with Rainbow to provide that for the industry,” said Grant Quasha, CEO of Eco Material Technologies. “This project is the culmination of a relationship between Eco Material and Coal Creek Station on fly ash beneficial use for over 30 years.”

The project will be the first beneficiation and harvesting plants in North Dakota and the second bottom ash beneficiation and harvesting project within Eco Material’s portfolio. The Coal Creek project will provide an additional 400,000 tons annually of SCMs over the next 25 years to service growing markets in North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin. The project will also beneficiate Coal Creek’s annual production of 150,000 tons of calcium sulfite into marketable synthetic gypsum, which will be primarily marketed to the wallboard industry by Eco Material.

Materials harvested from Coal Creek Station are and will be used in concrete blends to repair and construct bridges, roads, and buildings across the region. For each ton of ash beneficially used to replace a ton of portland cement, there is about one ton of carbon dioxide emissions avoided.

Eco Material also will be investing in additional storage terminals across the region to ensure that no winter ash is disposed. The beneficiation plants at Coal Creek and the new regional storage terminals are expected to be completed in 2025. In addition to construction and other temporary jobs, more than 20 full-time jobs will be created for the operation of the facilities.

“The expanded partnership with Eco Material Technologies enhances the execution of our vision by reducing carbon emissions and our environmental impact while continuing to provide valuable baseload energy to the market,” said Stacy Tschider, president of Rainbow.

Rainbow purchased the 1051 megawatt, 2-unit station at Coal Creek in May 2022 after the plant had been scheduled to be shut down. The plant currently produces about 500,000 tons annually of high-quality Class F fly ash.

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