North Dakota Accomplishing What Hasn't Been Done Since 1976 - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

North Dakota Accomplishing What Hasn't Been Done Since 1976

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  Another first for North Dakota:  Not since 1976 has a refinery been built in the U.S.  However, in just 20 months, construction of a new refinery will be complete.  

What hasn't been done in nearly 40 years is about to happen in Dickinson, North Dakota -- a new refinery will make history.  Not only hasn't it been done in decades, North Dakota was told it couldn't be done.  "I can't tell you the number of people, when you say, 'we're going to build refineries in North Dakota,' who tell me, 'it can't get done.  Nope, you're not.'  And I'm always struck, because that is never the first reaction of a North Dakotan," says U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D) North Dakota.

But against the odds -- in just over a year -- the new diesel refinery went from a mere idea to groundbreaking.  Upon completion in about 20 months, the Dakota Prairie Refinery will process 20,000 barrels per day of Bakken crude oil.  Currently, North Dakota imports over half its current diesel fuel needs, which is more than 53,000 barrels per day.

"Nearly $300 million dollar investment allows us to use our own Bakken crude, right here in the State of North Dakota, but it also is going to produce a huge amount of diesel fuel that our farmers and our truckers are going to be able to take advantage of," says Governor Jack Dalrymple (R) North Dakota.

The refinery will employ 100 people full-time, but officials say the facility will have a much greater employment impact.  "There's four more jobs for every job at that refinery that your community really benefits from and that's the multiplier effect of a refinery," says Gaylon Baker, Executive Vice President, Stark Development Corporation.

What does North Dakota have that other resource-rich States like California lack?  "I think in California, you look at things and say, 'well that can never happen,' or 'that would be bad,' instead of saying, 'what part of this really could work?'. . .This is going to be state of the art, best-available control technologies on this plant; meaning, that it is as green as a refinery can be and it just represents what we need to more of in America," says Heitkamp.  

"It's never been so cool to be from North Dakota as it is right now," says U.S. Representative Kevin Cramer (R) North Dakota.

The Dakota Prairie Refinery in Dickinson is a joint venture between MDU Resources Group and Calumet, a refinery operator.

 

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