A few weeks ago MDN told you about a new gas-to-liquids plant coming to Ashtabula, OH (see Utica Shale Gas-to-Liquids Plant Planned for Ashtabula, OH).
Another story, this one in Crain’s Cleveland Business, provides a few more details about this $300 million plant that will convert Marcellus and Utica Shale gas into chemicals and even diesel fuel…
Converting Marcellus and Utica Shale natural gas into liquids like solvents, lubricants and waxes–even diesel fuel–is starting to catch on. MDN previously told you about a “gas-to-liquids” (GTL) plant planned for the Altoona, PA area that will convert natural gas to diesel fuel (see Altoona Area Getting $200M Marcellus Gas-to-Liquids Plant). A chemical manufacturer in western PA is pursuing a GTL plant to create their own “feedstock”–raw chemical materials they need to produce other specialty chemicals (see Chemical Manufacturer to Build Gas-to-Liquids Plant in PA).
Now, word of the first GTL plant we’ve heard of planned in Ohio. The Ohio plant, if built, will also produce specialty chemicals…
Ohio company Velocys, located in Plain City, just outside Columbus, has just opened for business and the impact for both the Utica and Marcellus Shale region could be huge. The company makes machines (based on 1920s technology from Germany) that convert natural gas into diesel fuel. Right now diesel is about 6 times more expensive than an equivalent amount of natural gas. Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is starting to come on strong–witness UPS’ announcement last week to purchase 700 new tractor trailers that run on LNG (see UPS to Grow NG Fleet with Additional 700 LNG Tractor Trailers). That’s certainly one very necessary solution.
However, Velocys believes there’s a market to convert natural gas to diesel to feed the already existing market of millions of diesel engines on the roads today. And they’re right…
MDN has heard of many uses for natural gas, and of many companies moving to or expanding in states like Pennsylvania to take advantage of the low price of Marcellus natural gas. But this is a new one for us.
Last week, Calumet Special Products, with a chemical plant in Karns City, PA, announced they will likely build a new gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant at their facility in Karns to convert natural gas into feedstock (raw materials) they will then use to manufacture white mineral oils, petrolatums, aliphatic solvents and other gelled hydrocarbon products at the plant. They believe the price of natural gas in the Marcellus is so economical, and will remain so, that they can convert it themselves at a better price than buying the raw materials. How cool is that?