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Pinto Energy to build 2,800 bpd small-scale GTL plant in Ashtabula; Velocys microchannel technology

Pinto Energy LLC (Pinto), a developer of smaller scale Gas-to-Liquids (GTL) facilities, will build a 2,800 barrel per day (bpd) GTL plant at Pinto’s 80-acre industrial site to the east of Ashtabula, Ohio. The plant will convert abundant low-cost natural gas from the Utica and Marcellus shale region into high-value specialty products (solvents, lubricants and waxes), as well as transportation fuels.

Pinto has chosen to utilize Velocys Plc (Velocys) Fischer-Tropsch microchannel reactor technology. (Velocys is part of the Oxford Catalysts Group plc; Oxford Catalysts is changing its name to Velocys plc on 25 September 2013.) Velocys advanced catalysts and proprietary microchannel reactors offer unparalleled efficiencies for GTL projects today, Pinto said. The company has agreed to commercial license terms with Velocys and made a down payment towards the FT reactors.

Velocys offers the most efficient and cost-effective GTL technology on the market today. Pinto looks forward to working with Velocys on our Ashtabula GTL facility and other GTL projects in the Pinto portfolio.

—Michael Reinart, President of Pinto Energy

Pinto recently filed the project’s air and water permits, and is in discussions with regional economic authorities for further local support.

Pinto has chosen Ventech Engineers International LLC (Ventech) as the project’s EPC Contractor. Ventech is a global leader in the design and construction of new modular refineries, and will build these GTL plants at their Pasadena, Texas fabrication complex. The modules will be transported to the Ashtabula project site for installation.

The 2,800 bpd project is planned to be the first phase of a multi-train facility at Ashtabula, Oxford Catalysts noted.

Ventech began designing the Ashtabula facility in April 2013. The plant design is expected to be complete at the end of 2013. Pinto has secured funds to complete the engineering, permitting and all other upfront work; construction financing is scheduled to close in the first quarter of 2014. Pinto is seeking to start construction in the first half of 2014. Mechanical completion of the plant is expected in late 2015, with start-up in early 2016.

North American natural gas production has increased significantly in recent years, leading to persistent low natural gas prices and an increase in gas conversion projects.


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