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Meridian Energy receives permit approval for Davis refinery

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Meridian Energy Group, Inc. has received unanimous approval from the Billings County Board of County Commissioners on the Zoning Certificate and Conditional Use Permit for its proposed Davis refinery. This decision came after a public hearing before the Billings County Planning and Zoning board, which unanimously approved the Davis project to move before the Commissioners, and a thorough multi-faceted evaluation conducted by the Commissioners for further information on the complex refinery. This decision marks a major step forward, as it confirms the site for the 55 000 bpd Davis refinery.

Meridian CEO William Prentice said: "We appreciate the efforts of the staff of Billings County, the Billings County Planning and Zoning Board, as well as the Board of County Commissioners, and we're grateful that they came to this decision. Given the level of complexity associated with this type of project, we are thankful that the County chose to investigate the project thoroughly and to undertake a careful and diligent review. Their approval of this project reflects their forward thinking vision for the long term health and stability of the local community, and of the Bakken in general."

The response from the community during the public hearing was largely favourable, as citizens were encouraged to learn about the long term employment opportunities that the Davis refinery will bring to the region. The total number of jobs that will be created by the refinery is estimated at 1500 to 2500, including indirect and induced. Citizens who opposed the project expressed concern about the air quality surrounding nearby Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Meridian executives held an open forum in the park this week to meet with any and all members of the community to personally address their concerns.

"We look forward to a fully transparent, ongoing dialogue with the community regarding the Davis Refinery," Prentice said. "We are confident that we will meet and/or exceed the justifiably strict environmental requirements put forth. Doing so will establish Davis as the new design standard for a modern oil refinery. It will be the cleanest refinery ever built because it's required to be, given its proximity to natural monuments like the park."

Executives at Meridian partner firms โ€“ multinational engineering arm Vepica, and Houston-based construction and logistics firm, BASIC Equipment โ€“ were also excited by the decision.

Franklin Espiga, VP of International Business Development at Vepica, added, "This decision is a clear testament to the energy sector in North Dakota and the hard work already put forth on this project, and it's only the beginning. Securing the Davis location will now enable us to move forward with definitive, site specific engineering plans for the refinery."

Tommy Balke, the CEO and President of BASIC Equipment, also commented, "The Davis plant will commercially demonstrate new emissions control innovations through new forms of Best Available Control Technology, which will significantly raise clean construction standards for all refinery projects that follow."

The next step for Meridian will be filing the refinery's Permit To Construct (PTC) application with the State of North Dakota Department of Health โ€“ Air Quality Division.

Adapted from press release by Rosalie Starling

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