Firm seeks to open $200 million refinery plant in NE Ohio

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ASHTABULA, Ohio (AP) - A British company has plans to build a $200 million refinery project in northeast Ohio that will convert natural gas to a cleaner type of diesel fuel.

The (Ashtabula) Star-Beacon reports that Velocys is seeking permits from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to build the refinery on an 80-acre site in Ashtabula Township. The project was previously proposed by Pinto Energy, which Velocys acquired in June 2013.

Once operational, the plant will send 1.6 million gallons of wastewater into Lake Erie. An Ohio EPA spokeswoman says that based on the company's application, the discharge is expected to have a minimal effect on water quality.

State Rep. John Jefferson, a Democrat, says the refinery will create diesel that's cleaner and cheaper than what's produced from crude oil.

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