West Texas Refinery Developer Selects Air Permitting Consultant

MMEX Resources Corp., which in March unveiled plans to build a 50,000-barrel per day (bpd) crude oil refinery in the Permian Basin of West Texas, has formed a strategic relationship with Trinity Consultants, Inc., to assist it with securing air quality permits necessary to launch construction of the $450 million project, MMEX announced Wednesday.

"Plans for the Pecos County refinery are continuing to move forward quickly," said Jack W. Hanks, MMEX's president and CEO, in a written statement. "Our agreement with Trinity, a world class group of environmental consultants who will be vital to securing the necessary permitting for the project, is the next logical step in this endeavor and we are thrilled to have them onboard our growing team."

According to MMEX, Trinity will assist with the project's New Source Review Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permit application – required by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and Region 6 of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – and the subsequent Title V Federal Operating Permit. Also, MMEX stated that Trinity will provide broad environmental support including:

  • Preliminary environmental site feasibility evaluation
  • Permitting strategy development
  • Regulatory applicability analysis
  • Permit preparation, negotiation and public participation

"While the environmental permitting process for a new facility of this type is not inconsequential, our team is extremely experienced in understanding and meeting the requirements," stated Brian Burdorf, operations director in Trinity's Gulf/South region. "We are pleased to be working with MMEX on this important new project and look forward to delivering exceptional results."

In late March, MMEX formalized an agreement with Tyler, Texas-based KP Engineering to engineer, design and construct the refinery, planed for a 250-acre site in Pecos County approximately 20 miles northeast of Fort Stockton, Texas. Also, MMEX and KP will subcontract with Interstate Treating, Inc./RAMA Fabrication, Inc. of Odessa, Texas, to engineer and fabricate vessels and process modules.

The project site sits near the Sulfur Junction spur of the Texas Pacifico Railroad, and MMEX plans to use that existing railway access to export diesel, gasoline, jet fuels, liquefied petroleum gas and crude oil to western Mexico and South America. The refinery would be the fourth refinery in the Permian Basin, which is currently home to 300,000 bpd of refining capacity at facilities in Big Spring and El Paso in Texas and in Artesia, N.M. In South Texas, Raven Petroleum, L.L.C. has proposed building a 55,000-bpd refinery near Laredo that would process crude from Eagle Ford suppliers.

Pending the conclusion of the permitting process, MMEX expects to launch construction of its Permian Basin refinery early next year. Operations could start in 2019. The company has said the project should support approximately 400 peak construction jobs and an estimated 100 jobs during operations.

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