First commercial North American GTL plant planned

What may be the first commercial small-scale gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant in North America has been announced by Pinto Energy LLC, Houston, to be built near Ashtabula, Ohio, on Lake Erie, northeast of Cleveland.

The Ashtabula GTL project will install a 2,800-b/d plant on 80 acres to convert natural gas from the Utica and Marcellus shales into solvents, lubricants, and waxes, as well as transportation fuels.

Pinto selected Velocys PLC’s Fischer Tropsch technology. It said it has agreed to commercial license terms with Velocys and made a down payment towards the FT reactors.

Pinto has also selected Ventech Engineers International LLC as engineering, procurement, and construction contractor. Ventech specializes in design and construction of modular refineries and will build these GTL plants at its Pasadena, Tex., fabrication complex. The modules will be then transported to Ashtabula for installation.

Ventech began designing the Ashtabula plant in April, Pinto reported, and expects to complete the design by yearend. Construction should start in first-half 2014. Pinto expects mechanical completion in late-2015, with start-up in early 2016.

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