Billions in new industries coming to Williams County

Published: May. 23, 2022 at 1:41 PM CDT
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WILLISTON, N.D. (KUMV) - State commerce officials say there is about $40 billion invested in new projects for the state. About $5 billion of that is planned in northwest North Dakota, where leaders are looking to add more value to the oil and gas industry.

Williams County may be known for drilling oil and gas, but new, value-added projects are looking to add more opportunities.

“I think what we will become over the course of time and what’s happening right now is we will be the value-add to the oil and gas production that is happening around here,” said Steve Kemp, Williams County Commissioner.

Soon, work will begin on a number of facilities such as the Cerilon gas-to-liquids plant, the SAFuelsX plant, and Wellspring Hydro. These facilities will turn byproducts into valuable materials such as diesel fuel and even lithium.

“This gas-to-liquids project will be the single-largest one in North America. Within the Bakken, we believe there is quite a substantial market that we could locally supply these products,” said Ron Opperman, CEO of Cerilon GTL.

Leaders in charge of these programs spoke earlier this month about the benefits these industrial facilities can bring including carbon storage and reducing emissions. For homeowners, Kemp said these large projects can alleviate some property taxes.

“Having this industrial base buildup, especially in the billions of dollars that we are talking about, will start to help relieve some of the burdens for homeowners,” said Kemp.

It will take years before these industrial dreams are realized, but Kemp said these projects will help stabilize the region and make it less reliant on the success of the oil market.

The SAFuelsX plant and Wellspring Hydro are expected to break ground this year, while construction on the Cerilon plant will start in late 2024.

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