Five different industrial companies are looking into building a facility in northwestern North Dakota.
Cerilon, a company based out of Alberta, Canada, whose facilities generate premium-quality, cleaner-burning transportation fuels, synthetic base oils, and specialized products, according to their website, http://www.cerilon.com. The company wants to put a 14,000 barrel-per-day facility near Trenton, ND, that will use natural gas which is abundant in the region to create high-value products. It will produce clean-burning transportation fuels, synthetic base oils, and specialized products.
Another advanced biotechnology company will be converting methane gas into a biodegradable material. This facility could also potentially locate their plant near Trenton, as well.
Well Spring Hydro, a processed water refining company, is evaluating the potential to locate a facility near Trenton to refine production water from the oil field and extract the caustic soda, hydrochloric acid, calcium chloride, and lithium from it.
Two sustainable aviation fuel companies are also evaluating the possibility of locating in western North Dakota. One facility is evaluating the potential of locating near Trenton. This facility will be an oil seed crush plant having the ability to crush both canola and soy. The output of this plant would be Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF).
Another company is evaluating the possibility of building east of Fairview. This facility will utilize sugar beets as a feedstock and then convert that output to (SAF).
None of the businesses discussed are 100% certain, and there are many drivers affecting the ultimate decision to build or not to build. Of those listed, Garman stated that Cerilon is currently probably the furthest along in their design and permitting processes. It was also noted that Cerilon will be planning an open house in Trenton in early November 2023.
Being from a county that recently lost a coal mine, power plant, and sugar beet plant, a few of the attendees asked why the businesses were not looking to put plants on the Montana side of the border. Garman said, “There are three things that are driving most of these industrie’s decision to locate in North Dakota, policy, primacy, and geology.” While northeastern Montana, mostly, shares the same geology, it is the primacy and policy that is often times the deciding factor for these businesses. Many of these businesses will rely on the ability to capture and sequester carbon dioxide. With this ability, these companies can claim the $85/ton of CO2 credit currently being offered by the Federal Government. North Dakota is one of only two states that has primacy for permitting CO2 sequestration wells (Class VI). This means that the state can site and permit wells whereas most of the other states…