The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

September 25, 2013

Ashtabula County officials excited about refinery project

Star Beacon

ASHTABULA TOWNSHIP — Local officials are excited about all the jobs a new refinery will bring to Ashtabula County within the next two years.

Velocys Inc. of Plain City, partnering with Pinto Energy of Houston, plan to build  a refinery that will convert natural gas into diesel fuel on an 80-acre parcel on Lake Road, across from Plant C, said Brian Anderson, executive director Growth Partnership for Ashtabula County.

The proposed facility would create 30 permanent jobs, 400 construction jobs, 100 indirect jobs and cost about $300 million to start, according to Anderson and reported Monday on The Columbus Dispatch’s website.

“They are very good paying jobs,” Anderson said.

Growth Partnership has been in dialogue with these companies for two years, encouraging them to come to Ashtabula County, where there is access to rail, land and water.

“It’s a prime place,” Anderson said of the proposed location on Lake Road. “We are definitely excited.”

Joseph Pete Sr., chairman of the Ashtabula Township trustees, said he’s very excited about the project being built in the township.

“Any time jobs come, it’s good for the whole community,” he said.

Trustee Bambi Paulchel said, “It’s great for the whole county not just the township.”

Trustee Stephen McClure said township officials were elated and they will do whatever they can to help them along the way.

“It’s fantastic,” he said.

Ashtabula County Commissioner Joe Moroski said the commissioners have not been given an official notice on the project.

The facility, using a process called Fischer-Tropsch, would convert natural gas into diesel, according to the news report. The refinery could produce 2,800 barrels per day, with the potential to produce 7,000 barrels as demand warrants, officials said to the Dispatch.

Officials said the refinery would be operational by the end of 2015.