MDU Resources Group, Inc. (NYSE: MDU) and Calumet Specialty Products Partners, L.P. (NASDAQ: CLMT) today announced that they have formed a joint venture to develop, build and operate a diesel refinery in southwestern North Dakota. The joint venture will be called Dakota Prairie Refining, LLC.
MDU Resources Group’s participation in the joint venture will be through its wholly owned subsidiary, WBI Energy, Inc.
The facility will process 20,000 barrels per day of Bakken crude oil. Construction could begin this spring, and is expected to take up to 20 months. The plant will be located on a 318-acre site located west of Dickinson in Stark County, N.D. It will employ approximately 100 people. Hiring and training of operating personnel is expected to begin in 2013. The plant will employ its own plant manager and management team, who will report to a governing board composed of representatives of WBI Energy and Calumet.
“Through this joint venture we are continuing to expand both our midstream energy business and our vertically integrated investment in the Bakken oil play,” said David L. Goodin, president and chief executive officer of MDU Resources. “There is a strong existing market for the plant’s production. Southwestern North Dakota also will benefit from the plant’s good-paying, long-term jobs and from the two companies’ longstanding commitment to the communities in which they operate and serve.“All of our major businesses within MDU Resources have the potential to participate in this project,” Goodin said. “This demonstrates the strength of our business model, in which businesses with diversified capabilities work together to provide value-added benefits.” “This joint venture allows us to continue our plan of diversifying into geographies with favorable feedstock options and niche product markets,” said Jennifer G. Straumins, president and chief operating officer of Calumet’s general partner. “North Dakota is experiencing rapid growth, and we’re excited to join arms with a well-respected company like MDU to help provide solutions to the region. The state of North Dakota has been a pleasure to work with, and many opportunities lie ahead for everyone involved here.”