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Monolith Materials and NPPD join to clean power a carbon black plant


Monolith Materials and Norris and Nebraska Public Power District officials announced Monday the three companies have joined in new wind and solar power purchase agreement (PPA). Up to $1.2 billion in renewable energy projects could be spurred by this agreement to provide 100% clean power for an ammonia plant near Hallam.

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Monolith to expand its carbon black plant with clean energy

Monolith Materials announced Monday it is partnering with Norris Public Power District and Nebraska Public Power District in a PPA to provide 100% renewable energy to expand its carbon black/anhydrous ammonia plant near Hallam.

According to Monolith, this agreement will facilitate a significant addition of Nebraska’s renewable energy projects, including wind, solar, and a mix of the two.

The company expects to ship its first carbon black early this year. It has invested $100 million at the Hallam facility, which currently employs nearly 100 workers, expecting them to ramp up to 700 eventually.

Monolith announced plans in 2015 to manufacture “carbon black” from natural gas, using hydrogen to produce clean energy at NPPD’s Hallam Station power plant.

But those plans changed last year, and besides carbon black, a planned $1 billion expansion of the project will now include anhydrous ammonia.

NPPD will evaluate the projects through a bidding process, thus requesting proposals through the agreement, according to a media release.


In this regard, the proposed Monolith Materials plant expansion near Hallam will produce carbon black and anhydrous ammonia, used as a farm fertilizer.

Rob Hanson, co-founder, and chief executive officer of Monolith, said the carbon black plant is the first in the United States for more than 30 years. It will also be the first clean energy carbon black plant in the world.

Both power companies will procure enough renewable energy resources to generate 2 million megawatt-hours annually.

Tom Kent, the Nebraska district’s president, and CEO said Monolith would become the largest consumer for the NPPD. The expansion would double the company’s current renewable energy production.

NPPD will request proposals for wind and solar generation in March and expects to have all the agreements in place by September 1.  Commercial operations are expected to begin no later than December 31, 2025.

Kent said the expectation is that the new projects would be based in Nebraska, but the new power could come from anywhere in the Southwest Power Pool.

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