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Diesel refinery planned for South Heart

An official with MDU Resources Group of Bismarck, ND, says getting the approval of the Stark County Commission on a zoning change for its proposed diesel refinery is a good step. But as Prairie Public's Dave Thompson reports, Rick Matteson says there's more work to do.

The company is proposing a 10,000 gallong per day refinery near South Heart. Matteson says there are a lot of details in the planning process for the proposed $325 million refinery.

"Our next steps are to move the engineering design of the plant into the final stages," said Matteson. "Also, to work on some of the supplies, such as water supply, for the plant."

Matteson says there's also the permitting process.

"We're beginning to work on the application for air emission permits," said Matteson. "Those will come primarily from the state of North Dakota, although the EPA will have some line-of-sight approval for some of those."

Meanwhile, the head of the North Dakota Petroleum Marketers Association says his member retailers are excited about MDU Resources’ plan. Mike Rud says for the past several years, North Dakota has been experiencing diesel fuel shortages. And he says this will help.

"Anytime you bring more product on line, it will be a good thing for the state of North Dakota," said Rud. "Right now, we are in a diesel crunch, and we will be as long as the economy is a strong as it is across western North Dakota, as well as the whole state."

Rud says North Dakota is being allocated -- in terms of available diesel fuel.

"Anything you bring on line will be a help -- no question about that," Rud said.

MDU Resources hopes to break ground on the refinery in 2014.

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