The Hyperion Energy Center was issued
its air permit Thursday by the South Dakota Board of Minerals and the
Environment, a major step toward this project becoming the first new oil
refinery to be constructed in the United States since 1976. The board voted
"An incredible amount of work and dedication went into getting to this
important point," said Hyperion Project Executive Preston Phillips. "We are
thankful to those who put a lot of work into this process, and we cannot
overstate the gratitude to our many supporters in Union County and throughout
the state and the Siouxland region for all they've done."
The air permit marks the second permitting milestone for the Energy
Center, with the first being the required zoning change that was passed by the
Union County Planning Commission, the Union County Commissioners, and then the
county's voters by a 58-42 margin 14 months ago. In addition, a recent ruling
by the South Dakota Supreme Court ended opponents' efforts to challenge the
In light of the permit being issued today, the anticipated timetable for
the Energy Center is for construction to begin in 2011, with startup in 2015.
An average of 4,500 jobs will be created over the four year construction
phase, with the Energy Center bringing more than 1,800 permanent jobs to the
"Today, we've moved much closer to breaking ground on the nation's
cleanest, most environmentally sound refinery that will produce ultra-low
sulfur gasoline, ultra-low sulfur diesel, and jet fuel," said Phillips.
"In terms of supply and demand, we're still importing more oil and
refined products than we should from outside North America. The need for
additional heavy refining capacity is there, and we've always believed North
American oil should stay in North America," Phillips said. "Canada is
currently the largest exporting country to the United States, and it is in
both countries' best interests to create strategic and economic synergies."
Throughout the permitting process, Hyperion has evidenced its commitment
to openness, transparency and inclusiveness. The company not only held several
informational open houses in the local communities, it also fully supported
the referendum on the change in zoning by Union County residents. In addition,
Phillips noted, Hyperion was the first to request that the Board of Minerals
and the Environment hold the Contested Case Hearing.
The Hyperion Energy Center will be permitted for a 400,000 barrel-per-day
refinery producing ultra-low sulfur gasoline and diesel and an IGCC
(Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle) power plant. The center will
incorporate green principles in its every day functions and integrate only the
most advanced commercially feasible emission control technologies in its
operations, as spelled out in the company's Green Charter.