Construction continues at Dakota Prairie Refinery - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Construction continues at Dakota Prairie Refinery

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     The city of Dickinson has had a record amount of rainfall in the month of August, but all that precipitation hasn't stopped construction at the Dakota Prairie Refinery.

    As the summer construction season winds down, hundreds of workers at the Dakota prairie refinery are speeding up, placing the final touches on the plant.

"We are three months away from finishing our 3 year journey," says John Stumpf of WBI energy. The refinery is the first plant to be build in the United States in over three decades.

"This is the perfect spot for a plant, we are close to the crude oil, close to a big market for the diesel," according to plant manager Dave Podratz. Each day the plant will convert 20,000 barrels of crude oil into 7,000 barrels of diesel fuel.

"Well we're not declaring victory yet because even though the project is 80 percent complete the last 20 percent is the hardest from a construction stand point and a technical standpoint as well," says Stumpf. Workers have been busy insulating pipes, as well as painting different pieces of equipment.

Managers say they didn't have to look outside of the state to fill their work force. "Its been exciting for a number of folks who have been around the country to come back to North Dakota where the roots are," says Podratz.

70 workers have already been hired, and once operations start the refinery will employ about 90 workers.

Developers say the project has had some challenges, but they are expecting to open by their target date.

 "We expect to be on time to open sometime in December," says Stempf.







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