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Davis Refinery developer to renew investor search

BELFIELD (AP) — The developer of the planned Davis Refinery in Billings County says it plans to resume its search for investors in 2021, an effort that stalled this year by the coronavirus pandemic.

Meridian Energy Group also said it has signed a contract with Kiva Energy to purchase the propane produced by the refinery. The propane wholesaler for the western United States will also market the refinery’s butane.

“Kiva is a valued long-term strategic partner,” Meridian Chairman and CEO William Prentice said in a statement. “They have provided significant resources and cooperation over the past several years in connection with our development of the Davis Refinery and our planning for other U.S. projects.”

According to the application it filed with state regulators in 2017, the refinery will produce gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, fuel oil and natural gas liquids, the Bismarck Tribune reported.

Meridian has long sought financing to build the refinery, which is expected to cost $1 billion, including holding preliminary discussions with potential investors months ago.

Environmental groups challenged the refinery’s permits in court and raised questions about whether the project should fall under the oversight of the state Public Service Commission. The North Dakota Supreme Court earlier this year issued rulings in favor of the project, allowing the developer to move forward.