Dry Fork Station, owned by Basin Electric Co-Op and Wyoming Municipal Power Agency in Gillette, Wyo.
The $1.35 billion Dry Fork Station was commissioned on November 1, 2011 and is a greenfield leading edge coal-fired power plant. It was built to add capacity to meet the needs of the 134-member co-ops of Basin Electric and WMPA. The minemouth plant uses Power River Basin coal. The project had a construction and commissioning timeline of 45 months and finished on budget and two months ahead of schedule.
The project used circulated fluidized boiler (CFB) scrubber technology relatively unknown in the U.S. and untried worldwide at this size. An air cooled condenser minimizes water usage with 45 fans 100 feet off the ground condensing steam for reuse. The plant also uses an advanced control protection technology using foundation field bus for all station-wide systems to protect personnel, cost control and reliability requirements.
The project owners had trouble finding the right companies for engineering, procurement and construction due to a big construction market in the U.S., so a multi-contract approach was used. Sargent & Lundy performed the CM along with Basin Electric to manage 60 suppliers and contractors whose manpower onsite peaked at 1,300, which required close collaboration to manage schedule and costs while engaging smaller firms and full use of the available labor market. Construction was sequenced to schedule non-critical path activities to lessen peak staffing.
In order to keep friendly ties with the surrounding community, the plant owners offered tours of the station for the community as well as students and teachers, and Basin Electric has a community representative on site.