MCPHERSON, Kan. (AP) — An oil refinery’s $555 million expansion project is proving to be a boost to the economy of McPherson and some surrounding communities, a city official said.
The National Cooperative Refinery Association oil refinery is replacing its coker, which converts some residual oil into higher-value products. The two-year project has brought cranes, one as high as 530 feet tall, to the city’s skyline. The project should be finished by late September, said NCRA spokesman Vince Bengston.
The project brought more than 1,000 people to McPherson, which is also benefiting surrounding communities because there isn’t enough housing in McPherson, said McPherson Chamber of Commerce executive director Jennifer Burch. Project contractors are looking for homes in Lindsborg, Salina, Hutchinson and Lyons, The Hutchinson News reports.
“We’re pleased with the commitment NCRA has shown to the community by this capital improvement project,” she said. “I feel bad that not everyone gets to stay here.”
The project has brought several cranes ranging in size and shape to the skyline.
“It’s the talk of the town,” said Marvin Peters, who worked as contract crude oil purchaser 19 years ago at the refinery.
The good economic news from NCRA will continue later in the year, when it plans to shut down the refinery to clean it, which Burch said will bring another 2,500 people to the area.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.