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Competitors: Hyperion Refinery Lacks Demand, Infrastructure

Last updated on 2013.05.09

Even if Governor Daugaard stacks all of the state regulatory agencies with Big Oil backers, Union County will never see the Hyperion build its proposed oil refinery. As has been well documented here and elsewhere, it's not hippies who will stop Hyperion; it's the complete lack of a business case.

So say some more industry analysts to Cody Winchester:

In an Aug. 20 article in the trade paper Platts Oilgram News, Malcom Turner, chairman of the firm Turner, Mason and Co. of Dallas, said financing will continue to be a problem for large projects such as Hyperion.

"Nobody would finance it," he told Platts. "It would take forever to build."

...In an interview with [that Sioux Falls paper], Turner said South Dakota is not a good fit for a large refinery because the Midwestern market won't support any additional refined product.

"I don't know why people are opposing Hyperion, but it's not going to be built because they'll never get financing," he said. "Nobody's going to put up that money. Just because you have the piece of land and a state that will let you put it there doesn't mean it makes sense."

[Cody Winchester, "Industry Analysts Question Hyperion," that Sioux Falls paper, September 20, 2012].

South Dakota also lacks the infrastructure to make Hyperion's Elk Point refinery viable:

The Platts article also quoted a friend of Turner's, Glenn McGinnis, an industry consultant and CEO of Arizona Clean Fuels Yuma, which has had a $4.5 billion refinery in the works since the late 1990s.

"It doesn't make sense to build a monster refinery on the prairie" because the area lacks the infrastructure to connect refined products to end markets, McGinnis told Platts [Winchester, 2012.09.21].

Turner's been downplaying the chances that Hyperion could build this refinery since they announced the plan five years ago. Hyperion spokesman Eric Williams neener-neeners back that Turner and Williams are competitors who have good reason to talk down Hyperion's dreams. Williams also contends that his company's refinery would compete on cost and better technology. He also says Hyperion is speaking with TransCanada and Enbridge about building a new tar sands pipeline right to Union County... which if true ought to alarm landowners across South Dakota, as it would mean one more crew of oil barons coming to steal our land through eminent domain.

But hey, don't blame us air-, water-, and property-loving patriots for stopping Hyperion. Blame Hyperion for thinking it would be a good idea to build a refinery at a location that maximizes the distance itself and both its supply and its demand.

One Comment

  1. Dougal 2012.09.22

    The bosses also have no experience with operating refineries, much less a so-called green refinery. The word on this in DC from day one has been it will never happen because the owners have no other plan than getting $10 billion gift from the federal government. And when learn the back story on the owners, you have to wonder why any rational person would think they should given the money or be put in charge. It is ridiculous South Dakota doesn't give these people the boot for tying up all that land and wasting our time for all these years.

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