Today, Congressman Kevin Cramer joined about 150 people, MDU Resources Group and Calumet Specialty Product Partners who braved winter like weather on the North Dakota Prairie for the groundbreaking of the first new oil refinery to be built in this country in nearly 50 years. MDU Resources Group Inc. is a Bismarck based company providing value-added natural resource products and services essential to energy and transportation infrastructure. MDU Resources Group Inc. includes regulated utilities and pipelines, exploration and production, construction materials and services companies while also being a member of the S&P MidCap 400 index . Its stock is traded on the NYSE with the symbol "MDU".
"It is entirely appropriate that a North Dakota based company would lead again by example, doing what eludes so many in the rest of our country," said Cramer, "North Dakotans are proving our nation can be energy secure when market demand and supply meet at the junction of solid corporate citizens willing to risk capital for an opportunity to make money."
It is estimated that construction of the Dakota Prairie Refinery will take up to 20 months and be built on approximately 318 acres southwest of Dickinson, ND. According to company officials, the plant will employ approximately 100 people beginning this year. Once completed, the refinery will cost up to $300 million and process close to 20,000 barrels per day of Bakken crude oil.
"I commend MDU Resources Group and their partner Calumet Specialty Products Partners for their persistence in bringing more diesel and energy infrastructure to our great state," Cramer said. "This refinery will not only provide a local market for Bakken crude oil, but will create long-term good paying jobs and expand the much needed supply of diesel fuel in the region."
Congressman Cramer, who served nearly 10 years on the North Dakota Public Service Commission before being elected as the state's only member of the U.S. House of Representatives, emphasized his state's pro-development culture in his remarks to the luncheon crowd that met in Dickinson after the ceremonial groundbreaking.
"While it is true North Dakota has a business friendly government," Cramer told the audience, "it is because we have business friendly citizens. The politicians of our state are a reflection of the good people of our state."
Cramer concluded by referencing the nearly 100 ND Army National Guard Soldiers who arrived home last Friday from a one year deployment in Afghanistan. "America's national security and economic security are tied to America's energy security. The governor and I had the opportunity to welcome nearly 100 of our soldiers home from war in the middle east and it should not be lost on anyone that this day represents more than economic opportunity for our nation."
Congressman Kevin Cramer was joined by Senators Hoeven and Heitkamp, Governor Jack Dalrymple, Dickinson Mayor Dennis Johnson and South Heart Mayor Floyd Hurt at the groundbreaking. Cramer is a member of the Natural Resources and Science, Space and Technology House Committees, including the Natural Resource Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, and Subcommittee on Energy of the House Science Space and Technology Committee.