HOUSTON Aug 20 The South Dakota Board of
Minerals and Environment on Thursday granted Dallas-based
Hyperion LLC a permit to build a 400,000-barrel-per-day (bpd)
refinery, which would be the first new refinery built in the
United States since 1976, the company said in a statement.
Opponents to the plant have up to 30 days to decide on an
appeal through state courts in South Dakota, according to a
report on the Rapid City Journal website.
Hyperion plans an ambitious $10-billion project that
includes the refinery and a natural-gas fired power plant to be
located in southeast South Dakota, near the state's borders
with Nebraska and Iowa.
Analysts have said the chances for the refinery's
construction are slim as U.S. demand for motor fuels is
expected to never again reach 2007 levels because of pending
pollution reduction legislation. As much as 2 million barrels
of refining capacity may not be needed in the next decade.
Hyperion plans to break ground on the project in 2011 with
completion scheduled for 2015, the company said. The refinery
will be configured to refine Canadian crude oil into
ultra-clean gasoline and diesel.
According to the permit application, the refinery will use
hydrocrackers to make fuels from crude oil. Hydrocrackers can
be configured to make more diesel than fluidic catalytic
cracking units, which primarily make gasoline.
Diesel fuel markets, especially in Asia, are seen by U.S.
refiners as where they will find growing demand for the
products after the global economic downturn ends.
(Reporting by Erwin Seba; Editing by Christian Wiessner)