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Texas company Vertex buys Heartland Petroleum

Staff writer |
Vertex, a Houston-based company that collects and recycles used petroleum products has bought a refinery at 4001 E. 5th Ave., near Port Columbus.

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Vertex Energy paid $16.5 million for Heartland Petroleum, which refines used motor oil and other petroleum byproducts for reuse as lubricants and other products. Vertex also does this, but on a larger, national scale.

The local refinery will be renamed Vertex Refining Ohio. Heartland dates to 1948.

"The acquisition of Heartland fits in with our regional strategy," said Alvaro Ruiz, the Vertex director of mergers and acquisitions.

"While our competitors have one plant and feed it from across the country, we believe the regional model reduces the logistical costs."

The purchase of Heartland includes not only the refinery on 5th Avenue but also Heartland's business that collects used oil in Ohio and surrounding states.

Heartland processes about 18 million gallons of used oil a year, Ruiz said. Vertex collects about 150 million gallons, refines about 120 million and sells the remainder to other refineries and markets.

The roughly 70 Heartland workers have retained their jobs, and Vertex says it plans to expand its Columbus workforce.

"The goal is to grow the business and collect more oil for processing at the facility," Ruiz said, "and that will mean we will have to hire more people."

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