Engineering News

S.D. Panel Grants Air Permit for Refinery
August 21, 2009

The Hyperion Energy Center was issued its air permit Thursday by the South Dakota Board of Minerals and the Environment, a major step toward this project becoming the first new oil refinery to be constructed in the United States since 1976. The board voted unanimously, 9-0.

"An incredible amount of work and dedication went into getting to this important point," said Hyperion Project Executive Preston Phillips. "We are thankful to those who put a lot of work into this process, and we cannot overstate the gratitude to our many supporters in Union County and throughout the state and the Siouxland region for all they've done."

The air permit marks the second permitting milestone for the Energy Center, with the first being the required zoning change that was passed by the Union County Planning Commission, the Union County Commissioners, and then the county's voters by a 58-42 margin 14 months ago. In addition, a recent ruling by the South Dakota Supreme Court ended opponents' efforts to challenge the zoning change.

In light of the permit being issued today, the anticipated timetable for the Energy Center is for construction to begin in 2011, with startup in 2015. An average of 4,500 jobs will be created over the four year construction phase, with the Energy Center bringing more than 1,800 permanent jobs to the Siouxland region.

"Today, we've moved much closer to breaking ground on the nation's cleanest, most environmentally sound refinery that will produce ultra-low sulfur gasoline, ultra-low sulfur diesel, and jet fuel," said Phillips.

"In terms of supply and demand, we're still importing more oil and refined products than we should from outside North America. The need for additional heavy refining capacity is there, and we've always believed North American oil should stay in North America," Phillips said. "Canada is currently the largest exporting country to the United States, and it is in both countries' best interests to create strategic and economic synergies."

Throughout the permitting process, Hyperion has evidenced its commitment to openness, transparency and inclusiveness. The company not only held several informational open houses in the local communities, it also fully supported the referendum on the change in zoning by Union County residents. In addition, Phillips noted, Hyperion was the first to request that the Board of Minerals and the Environment hold the Contested Case Hearing.

The Hyperion Energy Center will be permitted for a 400,000 barrel-per-day refinery producing ultra-low sulfur gasoline and diesel and an IGCC (Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle) power plant. The center will incorporate green principles in its every day functions and integrate only the most advanced commercially feasible emission control technologies in its operations, as spelled out in the company's Green Charter.

Source: Hyperion Energy Center

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