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ONLINE ONLY - Paul Sukut

Basin Electric Power Cooperative CEO Paul Sukut spoke to members at the cooperative's annual meeting in Bismarck in 2017.

Basin Electric Power Cooperative laid off about 30 probationary employees in two states on Thursday, including 25 people at Dakota Gasification Company and Antelope Valley Station near Beulah.

Basin Electric spokesman Curt Pearson said the company also is offering a two-week window for voluntary separations, or buyouts, for employees at all locations, after which senior management will assess the situation for whether any jobs need combining or shuffling.

“Those decisions are to be made in the future,” Pearson said.

The reductions come as Basin Electric strives for leanness and transitions to operations from construction, Pearson said.

He also stressed the buyouts are “kind of a normal thing,” coming as the fourth time since 1985 when Basin Electric “has offered something like this” and the first time since the late 1990s.

Basin Electric’s board of directors made the call as the company has worked “to contain costs for about a year and a half,” Pearson said.

“Every now and then, you’ve kind of got to take a look at your business and right-size it,” he said.

A handful of Basin Electric employees at two locations in Wyoming were also let go.

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Capitol Reporter