It sounded like a great plan for southeast Saskatchewan. A refinery in Stoughton, a community known as the crossroads of the southeast.
The refinery was proposed by Quantum Energy, from Tempe, Arizona, and to help facilitate the building of the refinery, they formed a Canadian subsidiary, Dominion Energy Processing Group. Meetings were held in Stoughton, Estevan and Weyburn. In fact, the CEO of Dominion Energy, Keith Stemler, spoke at the Weyburn Chamber of Commerce annual President’s Dinner and AGM as the keynote speaker.
Now, many are wondering what happened to the proposed refinery. According to reports, Stemler is no longer the CEO of Dominion Energy. There are no signs of any work at the proposed site, next to the Crescent Point Viewfield gas plant.
Dustin Duncan is the MLA for Weyburn-Big Muddy and the Minister of the Environment. He explained the ministry hasn’t received anything from the company about the proposed refinery.
“The company, while they had initial discussions about all the different permits they would require for bringing a project like that for approval, they never did get any permits,” Duncan said Friday afternoon.
A number of questions about the proposed refinery are left unanswered, with very few associated with Quantum providing the information. For some, they are pointing to five similar proposed refineries in North Dakota and Montana, which never came to fruition, with people in those communities left asking the same questions as they are in Stoughton.
“Certainly it's disappointing when you see investment look like it’s not going to proceed, but I think there were a lot of unanswered questions about what this was actually going to look like, and certainly looks like it’s not going forward,” Duncan added.
For now, many will continue to ask what could have been for the town of Stoughton if the shovels actually did go in the ground.
*with files from Brian Zinchuk, Pipeline News