Gas-to-liquids plant planned for Ashtabula County

ASHTABULA – Houston-based Pinto Energy LLC, a developer of “Gas-to-Liquid” processing facilities, plans to build a 2,800-barrel-per-day natural gas processing plant just east of Ashtabula.

Plans announced Monday call for the plant to process natural gas extracted from the Utica and Marcellus Shale Plays into liquid products that can be used in the manufacture of specialty products like solvents, lubricants, waxes and clean transportation fuels.

The 80-acre industrial site was chosen for its access to existing infrastructure, like waste water treatment plants, an air separation unit, gas pipelines, and barge and rail loading facilities, along with a local customer base for some of the plant’s products, officials involved in the project announced.

The gas-to-liquid, or GTL, facility is expected to create 30 direct jobs, 400 temporary construction jobs and about 112 indirect jobs.

The state-of-the-art facility will be one of the first plants of this kind in North America. According to Pinto, the gas-to-liquid technologies have existed since the early 20th century, but recent technological advancements have transformed the industry.

Columbus-based Velocys will provide technology for what is expected to be just the first phase of a larger GTL plant on the Ashtabula site. In addition, Pinto has a number of other sites it intends to develop smaller scale GTL projects incorporating Velocys technology.

“We are delighted to see such significant progress toward a smaller scale GTL plant in North America using our technology,” said Roy Lipski, CEO of Velocys. “This highlights the unique opportunity presented by abundant Marcellus and Utica shale gas reserves, as well as the drive for energy security and cleaner fuels. We’re pleased to be working with Pinto on this project local to us in Ohio.”

Velocys’ technology enables gas-to-liquids plants to convert unconventional, remote and problem gas into valuable liquid fuels. Systems using the company’s technology are smaller than those using conventional technology, enabling modular plants to be used cost effectively in remote locations and on smaller fields. Velocys and its partners provides smaller scale modular GTL equipment for use in an untapped market of up to 25 million barrels of fuel a day.

“We look forward to developing the project at Ashtabula as the first of many,” said Guy Dove, Chairman of Pinto Energy.

The plant should be ready for startup by early 2016. Design has been under way since spring by project engineering, procurement and construction contractor Ventech Engineers International LLC.

Ventech will build the plant’s modular refineries at its Pasadena, Texas, complex, and transport the modules to the Ashtabula site for installation.