Calumet Invests in La. GTL Plant


Calumet Specialty Products Partners invested as a joint venture partner in construction of a Lake Charles, La., commercial gas-to-liquids plant that is expected to produce 1,100 barrels per day of refined products, including waxes, drilling fluids, distillate and naphtha, from natural gas.

In a news release, Calumet said it intends to invest $25 million in exchange for an equity interest of about 22 percent in the joint venture. The $135 million brownfield plant will be owned and operated by Juniper GTL LLC, a company also co-owned by SGC Energia of Portugal and Houston-based Great Northern Project Development. The project will be funded through a combination of equity and senior secured debt.

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Calumet spokesman Noel Ryan told Lube Report that the company couldn’t comment at this time beyond the information in the news release.

This joint venture offers Calumet the opportunity to lead a growing market that converts lower-cost natural gas into higher value liquids, Calumet President and Chief Operating Officer Jennifer Straumins said in the news release. Looking ahead, we believe this project puts Calumet in a leadership position to capture promising GTL opportunities, which we anticipate to arise given expectations for continued growth in domestic natural gas production in future years.

According to the news release, the Juniper GTL process starts with the reforming of natural gas into a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide. These gases are then sent to a reactor, where they combine into a paraffinic liquid through a Fischer-Tropsch reaction. The resulting liquid is refined by distillation and hydrogenation. SGC Energia supplies the process under its XTLH brand name.

According to a September 2013 Louisiana Economic Development news release, the Juniper GTL project will be a forerunner of smaller commercial GTL plants.

Sasol, the South African energy and chemicals company, announced in December 2012 plans for a 96,000 barrels per day gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant in Lake Charles, to make diesel and other refined products, including base oil for lubricants. Startup for that plant is expected in two phases: a first phase in 2019, and a second phase – including base oil – in 2020.

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