A Texas-based company recently announced plans to build a $6 billion facility in Northeast Pennsylvania that will use Marcellus natural gas and renewable natural gas to produce lower-carbon gasoline.
Nacero plans to build the plant on former coal mine property in Luzerne County. The company plans to convert natural gas into gasoline that will contain no sulfur and have half the lifecycle carbon footprint of traditional gasoline. The gas will be produced using renewable energy sources and carbon capture when feasible.
The company’s chairman, Tom Tureen, told an online audience that the process involves building up a simple molecule using a catalytic process to achieve low-sulfur gasoline. The company also plans to acquire renewable natural gas, which Tureen described as methane that comes from farms, feedlots, and landfills.
The gas will be competitively priced and will be usable in today’s vehicles without modifications, the company’s website states. Tureen said the technology is proven and Nacero has exclusive rights to it in the U.S.
The project is expected to bring as many as 4,000 construction jobs to the area and about 450 permanent jobs when the plant is operational.
Nacero is a privately held company formed in 2015 and it plans to build nine plants in the United States that will produce gasoline from natural gas that can be used in existing vehicles. The company is breaking ground on its first facility in Texas next year.
“All of the plant’s electricity will come from renewable sources, much of which will be produced on-site from solar panels co-located with the manufacturing facilities on Nacero’s 2,600 acre site. The plant will be the first in the U.S. to make gasoline from natural gas and the first in the world to do so with carbon capture and sequestration. Sequestered CO2 will be transported via an existing on-site pipeline,” the press release for that project states.
Luzerne County will be the site of Nacero’s second plant, which “represents the single largest economic development investment in the history of Luzerne County,” said state Sen. John Yudichak, who represents that area. It was not known when construction would begin on the Luzerne County plant, but it is likely several years away.
In December, 16 state and local environmental groups issued a statement in opposition to the plant, arguing that there is no evidence to support the company’s claims and that it will be a major source of air pollution. A fact sheet from the Clean Air Council was also released.