Flint Hills Resources, which owns the Pine Bend oil refinery in Rosemount, on Wednesday announced a $300 million investment in new technology at the refinery, including a system that makes fertilizer out of gasoline byproducts.
The system, which company officials say makes up roughly half of the overall project, will remove sulfur and nitrogen from gasoline and convert it into a liquid fertilizer. The sulfur removal aims to meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's new pending standards for gasoline.
Company officials said they believe the project is the first of its kind in the United States.
The second part of the project is a combined heat and power technology that will use natural gas and a heat recovery process to produce up to 50 megawatts of electricity, which is about half of the electricity required to power the refinery.
Construction on the new project is expected to start in 2015. It will need permits from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
The refinery is in the middle of a separate $400 million expansion that involved an agreement with the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy to reduce emissions and improve efficiency.