Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Hyperion says plans on schedule for first new refinery in U.S. since 1970s

ELK POINT, S.D. - On its original timeline, 2010 was to be the year Hyperion Resources began construction on 3,800 acres of farmland near Elk Point of the nation's first new oil refinery since 1976.
But as 2009 faded into 2010, consumer demand for gasoline and diesel has fallen off. A tough economic climate led to five refineries being shuttered in 2009 as refiners struggled to make a profit.
Still, the Dallas-based developers say that they plan to get shovels into the ground in 2011, and that Hyperion will be refining Canadian tar sands crude into gasoline and diesel by 2015. They always have maintained that the $10 billion project is profitable with oil at $60 a barrel.
"We're currently in one of those phases where the big announcements are infrequent, but the hard work and attention to detail are paramount," Hyperion spokesman Eric Williams said.
"On one track, we're doing work necessary to forge ahead to obtain additional permits and consents. ... On the other track, we're working to further secure our crude oil supply and do other preparatory work on the business development side," he said.
Opponents vow to continue their fight against the refinery. Save Union County officials filed a legal challenge to the state air permit Hyperion received in September, and a hearing tentatively is scheduled for June. Group members, along with the Sierra Club, are monitoring the air quality around Union County independently of the state. Opponents also plan to ask the Environmental Protection Agency to step in and review concerns that the agency had about the air permit.
"We're also waiting for those other permits' applications to be filed," said Ed Cable, head of Save Union County. "We're also educating people to our concerns."
Project opponents also continue to watch environmental and economic barriers to the project. With consumers moving toward hybrid vehicles, the demand for gasoline isn't likely to increase, they say. And they contend that country's existing 150 refineries - currently, 141 are operating, with nine idle - can handle the nation's demand well into the future.

1 comment:

  1. This is becoming a joke in South Dakota. For more info read the message board on this blog

    For response to this article posted above read this SD political blog's response.