Meridian Energy Group Inc., Belfield, ND, has expanded the scope of engineering services to be delivered by Vepica USA Inc., Houston, a subsidiary of Caracas-based Vepica CA, under a previously awarded contract for works on Meridian’s two-phased grassroots 55,000-b/sd high-conversion Davis refinery to be built in Billings County, ND, in the heart of southwestern North Dakota’s Bakken shale region.
Alongside continuing work as principal engineering firm for design initiation on the refinery’s first 27,500-b/sd phase, or Davis Light, Vepica also will provide continued engineering support to the project’s permitting effort as well as procurement and fabrication packages for long-lead equipment items, including the atmospheric crude tower, Meridian said.
Vepica’s expanded engineering role in the project’s development comes as Meridian prepares to enter detailed-engineering and equipment-fabrication phases for Davis Light, the operator said.
A key partner in layout and planning works to enable site preparations for the refinery’s construction to proceed while the North Dakota Department of Health (NDDH) continues processing the project’s air-quality permit, Vepica most recently helped Meridian prepare and file an amendment to its permit-to-construct (PTC) application for the refinery’s Davis Light phase.
Filed with NDDH on Apr. 5, the PTC application amendment included engineering and configuration adjustments to further improve emissions and product output from project’s second 27,500-b/sd phase, or Davis Full.
In addition to confirming Meridian’s selection of hydrocracking in lieu of fluid catalytic cracking for Davis Full, the PTC amendment explains the operator’s decision to add vacuum distillation and hydrocracking units during the second phase will equip the refinery with greater product flexibility, including an ability to adjust the production ratio of ultralow-sulfur diesel to naphtha in order to meet changing market demands, ensure product quality, and further reduce emission levels from the site, Meridian said.
The company said it expects Davis Light to be commercially operating in early 2018, with refinery’s Davis Full second-phase development to expand processing capacity to 55,000-b/sd sometime in 2019 (OGJ Online, Feb. 21,2017).