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    NCRA Completes $300 Million Clean Air Project

    Project enabled Kansas refinery to meet federal environmental requirements.

    McPHERSON, Kan.--The National Cooperative Refinery Association (NCRA) completed its $300 million Clean Fuels project, the largest investment in the refinery's history.

    The Clean Air project brings the 85,000 barrels-per-day central Kansas refinery into compliance with federal environmental requirements for producing ultra-low sulfur fuels a half-year ahead of a June 2006 deadline. The pending regulations require U.S. refiners to reduce sulfur levels in diesel fuel for both on- and off-road use from 500 parts per million to 15 parts per million.

    "Completion of this project reinforces NCRA's commitment to environmental stewardship and to providing its customers with a dependable supply of quality gasoline and diesel fuel," said James Loving, NCRA president.

    NCRA marked the project completion with a ribbon cutting and celebration featuring its board of directors, community leaders and employees.

    To meet the ultra-low sulfur requirements, NCRA has constructed a state-of-the-art unicracker, a new hydrogen plant and additional sulfur handling capacity, as well as made modifications to existing process units.

    NCRA is owned by CHS Inc., St. Paul, Minn. (74.5 percent); Growmark, Inc., Bloomington, Ill. (18.6 percent); and MFA Oil Company, Columbia, Mo., (6.9 percent). Through its three cooperative owners, the refinery is part of a supply network reaching 1,500 locally owned co-ops and more than 1,100 convenience stores that serve farmers, ranchers and other consumers from the Great Lakes to the Pacific Northwest and from the Canadian border south to Texas.

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