Dakota Prairie commissions first US refinery in nearly 40 years

Dakota Prairie Refining LLC, a joint venture of MDU Resources Group Inc., Bismarck, ND, and its 50-50 partner Calumet Specialty Produces Partners LP, Indianapolis, has started commercial production of diesel fuel and other products at its 20,000-b/d diesel refinery in North Dakota (OGJ Online, Feb. 7, 2013).

Designed to process locally sourced Bakken crude, the refinery is now producing diesel and is scheduled to begin commercial fuel sales this month to regional, North Dakota-based customers as the plant continues to ramp up to its full diesel production capacity of up to 7,000 b/d, MDU Resources said on May 4.

In addition to diesel, the refinery also will produce up to 6,500 b/d of naphtha for use as a diluent to transport heavy oil by pipeline or as a feedstock in gasoline production; up to 6,000 b/d of atmospheric tower bottoms to be used as feedstock for lubricating oils; as well as other unidentified refined products, the company said.

Naphtha and atmospheric bottoms production from the plant will be shipped to other refineries (OGJ Online, Dec. 11, 2013).

The plant’s cost, initially pegged at $300 million, now has been revised to $$425-435 million, according to MDU Resources.

The first greenfield plant built in the US since 1976, the refinery previously was scheduled to begin production in late 2014 but experienced delays from severe winter weather in November and late revisions to electrical systems and controls (OGJ, Dec. 1, 2014, p. 34).

Construction of the Dakota Prairie refinery, which is North Dakota’s second, began in March 2013, with Bilfinger Westcon Inc., Bismarck, ND, as general contractor and Ventech Engineers International LLC, Pasadena, Tex., as primary equipment and technology provider (OGJ Online, Mar. 27, 2013).

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