The original air permit called for construction to begin by Feb. 20, 2011, but company officials said the project was delayed because the recession caused problems in securing financing. The board issued a revised permit in September that reflected updated national air quality standards and new pollution-control technology and gave Hyperion until March 15 to start construction.
Phillips said that if it applies for a new permit, the company wouldn't be starting over but building on existing baseline data, engineering and other work.
The South Dakota Supreme Court's recent decision upholding the previous permit puts Hyperion and anyone else wanting to permit a large, complex project in a stronger position, he added.
The Hyperion Energy Center would include a power plant that produces electricity for the refinery. It would convert a byproduct of the refinery process — solid petroleum coke — into gas that would be burned to produce electricity. Hyperion contends that the refinery would be a clean, modern plant that would use the most advanced, commercially feasible emissions control technology.
Company officials have said that efforts to secure financing are progressing, but they have not provided details.
Follow Dirk Lammers on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ddlammers