MAKOTI The chairman of the Three Affiliated Tribes says attorneys haven't started selling bonds yet for financing the tribes' refinery to be built near Makoti.
Last week, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced at tribal headquarters near New Town that 469 acres had been transferred to trust status and allow the tribes to continue their work to develop the Thunder Butte Petroleum Services Inc., the refinery project. About 190 acres would be for the refinery and the rest of the land for production of feed for the tribes' buffalo herd.
Tex Hall, tribal chairman, said the tribes will be the issuer of Tribal Economic Development bonds or TED bonds, and a Washington, D.C., law firm will sell the bonds to investors in the project.
This sign is at the site west of Makoti where the Three Affiliated Tribes is planning to build its refinery, Thunder Butte Petroleum Services Inc.
Hall said this week that more engineering still has to be done to determine if the refinery will be stick built or modular design. If it is modular design, he said it will cut the construction time in half to about a year instead of two years.
He said the construction contractor will be hired after engineering in early 2013.
This past summer, Hall announced the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had approved the water discharge permit. The water discharge permit is a major permit for the refinery project.
Hall and Rich Mayer, CEO of Thunder Butte Petroleum, said this week the tribes already have filed for smaller permits from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that are needed.
The project is expected to create close to 1,000 jobs during the construction phase. After the refinery is built, it is expected to have about 80 full-time positions.
"We will set up temporary and permanent housing for future permanent employee jobs," Hall said.
He said the refinery will benefit the local area, the state and country.
He said they will be setting up meetings about the refinery project with the nearby communities.
The refinery site is two or three miles from Makoti, and Ryder and Plaza are just a few miles away.
"We want to be good neighbors and the economic impact will benefit them, too," Hall said.
The refinery site is west of Makoti on the Fort Berthold Reservation. The site is near N.D. Highway 23 and Canadian Pacific Railway tracks.
The tribes began plans to build a refinery nine years ago. It would be the first refinery built in the lower 48 states in 41 years.
The plans are for the refinery to refine Bakken crude for use on the Fort Berthold Reservation, in North Dakota and throughout the United States.
Groundbreaking for the new refinery is being planned for next year.