Meridian Energy lets contract for North Dakota refinery project

Meridian Energy Group Inc., Irvine, Calif., has finalized a contract with engineering firm Vepica USA Inc., Houston, a subsidiary of Caracas-based Vepica CA, to perform engineering definition for its proposed 55,000-b/sd grassroots Davis refinery to be built in the heart of southwestern North Dakota’s Bakken shale region, near Belfield, in Billings County, ND (OGJ Online, Dec. 23, 2015).

Selected based upon its performance of preliminary permitting support and engineering studies to define the design basis, costs, and schedule for the two-phased greenfield project (OGJ Online, Feb. 11, 2016), Vepica now will deliver additional detailed process optimization and design work in preparation for start of construction on the refinery, Meridian said.

The contract, for which a value was not disclosed, follows the Billings County Board of County Commissioners’ recent approval of Meridian’s zoning certificate and conditional-use permit for the proposed refinery (OGJ Online, July 7, 2016).

Currently in the process of finalizing its application to the air quality division of North Dakota’s health department for the refinery’s permit to construct, Meridian said it also plans to award a contract to Trailhead Engineering Inc., Salt Lake City, to serve as owner’s engineer during the project’s definition phase and beyond.

Due to be completed sometime in 2017, Phase 1 of the project, or Davis Light, will have a capacity of 27,500-b/sd and include a single crude unit as well as ancillary processing units (OGJ Online, Mar. 23, 2016).

Meridian will file applications for permits to proceed with construction of Phase 2 to increase the refinery to its nameplate 55,000-b/sd capacity following startup of Phase 1.

The company previously said it expects to commission the fully expanded Davis refinery in 2019.

Contact Robert Brelsford at rbrelsford@ogjonline.com.

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