Detroit-based DTE Energy has partnered with the Port of Monroe to recycle and market gypsum, a bi-product produced at DTE’s Monroe Power Plant that is used in the construction industry to produce drywall and cement. The agreement will create about 30 jobs with DRM, a Dundee-based company that provides transportation and material handling services for the Port of Monroe.
"We have been seeking a partner who we could work with locally to recycle the hundreds of thousands of tons of gypsum the plant produces annually," says Brian Rice, director of DTE's Monroe Power Plant.
Rice says the port will construct a 24,000-square-foot storage building on its property so gypsum customers in the Midwest and Canada can have direct shipping access to the material year round. Gypsum is a bi-product produced by Monroe Power Plant's flue gas desulfurization system, which removes more than 90 percent of the plant's sulfur dioxide emissions.
Rice says farmers have also found gypsum to be a good soil conditioner, improving the soil’s ability to provide nutrition for plants. In 2014, DTE recycled more than 350,000 tons of gypsum.
He says DTE’s Monroe Power Plant is one of the five largest coal plants in the country, and is the only plant in Michigan that produces gypsum.