MAKOTI The Three Affiliated Tribes' business council has selected a Salt Lake City company for the first phase of construction of its refinery near Makoti.
Chemex, Inc., will engineer and build the interior modular phase of the refinery named the Thunder Butte Petroleum Services. The company was chosen from a pool of companies that responded to a request for proposals earlier this year.
"They bring experience and expertise to the clean fuels refinery project," said Tex Hall, tribal chairman. "They've built refineries in the United States and throughout the world."
"This refinery will produce clean fuels that will power our nation well into the future. The clean fuels refinery will use Bakken crude as its feedstock. In addition, the clean fuels refinery will bring jobs to the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation and the surrounding communities," Hall said.
Richard Mayer, refinery project director, said other construction phases will be bid out as the work progresses.
"We will need a prime contractor to assemble the modular units on-site once Chemex builds them. We will also be bidding out other on-site construction phases," Mayer said.
He said some examples of the construction phase are engineering and construction contracts for the roads,
loading stations, rail-loading spur lines, piping, storage tanks and holding ponds.
"This is a big step for the refinery project with many contracting opportunities and job creation in the very near future," Mayer said.
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar visited the Fort Berthold Reservation in October when he announced that 469 acres of land had been transferred to trust status and would allow the tribes to continue their work to develop 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.
The refinery site is west of Makoti on the reservation and is near N.D. Highway 23 and the Canadian Pacific Railway tracks.
Groundbreaking for the refinery is being planned for next year.