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Dakota Prairie refinery commences operations

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

MDU Resources Group, Inc. and Calumet Specialty Products Partners, L.P. have announced that the Dickinson, North Dakota, based Dakota Prairie refinery, the first greenfield fuels refinery built in the US in nearly 40 years, has commenced operations. The facility has begun producing diesel fuel and is expected to begin sales of diesel as the plant ramps up during May.

The refinery is designed to process 20 000 bpd of locally sourced Bakken crude oil, resulting in a production slate that includes up to 7000 bpd of diesel fuel that will be sold from the plant to regional, North Dakota-based customers. MDU Resources and Calumet are joint owners and operators of the refinery.

“With more than two thirds of North Dakota’s diesel fuel currently imported into the state, the Dakota Prairie refinery is well positioned to meet strong regional demand with additional, locally produced supplies of diesel fuel,” said David L. Goodin, President and CEO of MDU Resources. “Over time, we expect that this refinery has the potential to be an important contributor to the economic growth of the local and state economy.

“We are thankful for the support of local and state officials and agencies, and for the economic development climate that they have created in North Dakota,” Goodin said. “Together with our committed partner, Calumet, we are proud to have built the first refinery in this country since 1976.”

The Dakota Prairie refinery also will produce up to 6500 bpd of naphtha, which is used as a diluent to transport heavy oil by pipeline or as a feedstock in gasoline production; up to 6000 bpd of atmospheric tower bottoms, which can be used as a feedstock for lubricating oils; and other refined products.

Construction of the facility began on 26 March 2013 on a 318 acre site that is located about four miles west of Dickinson in southwest North Dakota. More than 800 workers were on site at peak construction. Total cost of the plant is estimated to be approximately US$425 million to US$435 million, and the facility employs about 80 people.

Adapted from press release by Rosalie Starling

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