Pinto Energy plans Ashtabula refinery

ASHTABULA — Houston-based Pinto Energy announced this morning its intent to construct a 2,800 barrel per day gas-to-liquids refinery in Ashtabula.

The $250 million facility, which is expected to be operational by early 2016, will convert natural gas produced in the Marcellus and Utica Shale plays into high-value synthetic liquids, such as solvents, lubricants and waxes.

When construction begins in 2014, the company anticipates that it will create about 542 local jobs, 400 of which will be temporary construction positions.

Monday’s announcement adds to a bevy of other infrastructure projects currently underway throughout eastern Ohio, including pipelines and processing facilities.

Unlike other recent announcements for facilities that will separate gases and liquid and prepare product for market, Pinto’s facility will convert low-cost natural gas into petrochemicals that fetch a higher price.

Pinto plans to construct the facility on an 80-acre site just east of Ashtabula. It started designing the plant in April.

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