Major Gas-to-Liquids Plant Coming to Ohio
Pinto Energy is looking to build a 2,800 barrel per day gas-to-liquids plant in northeastern Ohio, specifically just east of Ashtabula, Ohio. The facility is estimated to create 400 temporary construction jobs, 30 full-time jobs and generate an estimated 112 indirect jobs.
“Pinto is pleased to be joining the Ashtabula community,” stated Guy Dove, Chairman of Pinto Energy. “By building one of the first North American GTL facility in Ashtabula County, Pinto is creating well-paying jobs and extending the benefits of increased domestic energy production to North Eastern Ohio.”
The Pinto Energy facility will use Fischer-Tropsch technology to convert natural gas to liquids developed by Ohio based Velocys. Fischer-Tropsch technology was first developed for turning coal to diesel during World War II, and has been used by South Africa since at least the 1950s.
Over the years, the Fischer-Tropsch process has been refined by companies like Sasol to utilize natural gas as a feedstock instead of coal. Gas-to-liquids has been used by countries in the western hemisphere for many years now, but is now making its introduction to the United States due to the abundance of natural gas thanks to shale development.
The innovative process developed by Velocys and used by Pinto Energy will utilize microchannel reactors and super-active catalysts to allow compact and efficient facilities. Formerly, the technology only existed in large, conventional gas-to-liquid conversion plants that could cost upwards of one billion dollars. These breakthroughs allow the process to occur at a fraction of the cost, and also use less space.
“Velocys offers the most efficient and cost effective GTL technology on the market today,” stated Michael Reinart, President of Pinto Energy.
This new facility will take natural gas feedstock (thanks, Utica Shale!) and produce clean burning diesel and jet fuel, which will result in lower emissions of NOx, SOx and particulates. In fact, the U.S. Air Force has tested and certified a 50/50 mix of Fischer-Tropsch jet fuel for many of its aircraft.
Not only will the Pinto Energy facility produce cleaner burning fuels, but also synthetic lubricants and waxes. The waxes are of such a high grade they can be used in the production of cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and adhesives.
Pinto Energy has chosen Ventech Engineers International LLC to construct the Ashtabula facility. The plans for the plant are expected to be complete by years end with construction beginning in the first half of 2014. The plant is expected to be completed by the end of 2015 with a start up date of early 2016.
The announcement by Pinto Energy is great news for Ashtabula County. Even though the county is not in the heart of Utica Shale development, they are still seeing the benefits from increased oil and gas development happening throughout the region.