Velocys plc, the company at the forefront of smaller scale gas-to-liquids (GTL), announced the successful production of first finished, saleable products at ENVIA Energy’s GTL plant in Oklahoma City, Okla., U.S.A. Fischer-Tropsch products are now being fractionated to produce premium, renewable waxes, diesel fuel and naphtha, meeting customer product specifications.
The onsite operations team has completed the debugging of several units of the plant activities that are routine during the start up of a plant of this complexity and is continuing the implementation of the preplanned programme of ramping
up production to target operational capacity over the coming months.
“We’re pleased that another milestone has been successfully achieved at the ENVIA Oklahoma plant. The exceptional quality of these products further verifies the performance of our technology and underlines its ability to deliver a slate of high value premium products at smaller scales,” said David Pummell, Velocys CEO.
UK-based Velocys develops, licenses and supplies small-scale GTL and BTL technology. Its equipment utilises Fischer-Tropsch synthesis, a process that can convert coal, natural gas or biomass into a wide-range of products. Recently, the company announced that it has suspended its venture into the nascent small-scale GTL space to become a renewable fuels company focused on biomass-to-liquids (BTL) instead.
The announcement is a sharp deviation from the company’s original plan to commercialise small-scale GTL technology — a strategy which depended on the U.S. shale gas boom that has been disrupted with plunging crude oil prices.
Velocys had originally planned to build a 5,000 barrel-per-day GTL plant in Ashtabula, Ohio, that would utilise Marcellus and Utica shale natural gas to make solvents, lubricants, waxes and transportation fuels. It postponed the final investment decision last year due to inability to raise capital for the project, causing it to reassess its business strategy.
“Our new strategy is for Velocys to be at the heart of building plants that convert woody biomass to high specification renewable diesel and jet fuel for the U.S. market, our primary focus market. Our route to the production of renewable fuels from woody biomass uses cost effective, abundant and entirely sustainable feedstock, allowing our solution to be highly scalable to meet the increased demand for renewable fuels. All of this contributes to our differentiated value proposition to the market.
“We believe our business model will enable Velocys, with its strategic partners, to build a supply leadership position in this market over the next 10 years, by delivering economically differentiated, financed, operations ready plants, and do it reliably again and again,” Pummell added.