Dominion, Intrexon Eye Gas-to-Liquids Plants in Utica

RICHMOND, Va. – Dominion Energy and Inrexon Corp. have entered into an agreement to explore development of biological conversion gas-to-liquids, or GTL, fuel plants in the Utica and Marcellus shale plays.

The project calls for the construction of facilities that use Intrexon’s proprietary method of converting methane into high carbon compounds such as isobutanol through the use of microbial cell lines.

Isobutanol is a cleaner burning fuel that is less corrosive and is less expensive to blend with gasoline. It is compatible with the existing petroleum infrastructure, so transportation is more efficient. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, investment in butanol plants may reach $6 billion by 2020.

“We are excited to partner with IEP and help realize the promise of their GTL platform to harness a plentiful feedstock in natural gas for the bio-production of isobutanol,” Diane Leopold, president of Dominion Energy, said in a statement. “Dominion is committed to being a good environmental steward while providing reliable, affordable energy services for our customers.”

Under the terms of the agreement, IEP is required to meet “specific development milestones” before commercial sales could begin. Dominion will be the exclusive partner that would construct, own, and operate bioconversion production facilities somewhere in the Utica and Marcellus region of eastern Ohio and Pennsylvania, “leading to the creation of job opportunities and generation of local and state tax revenue.”

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.