Thursday, November 21, 2013

Natgasoline Expands, Texas Invests $2.1M

Natgasoline LLC, a subsidiary of OCI NV, announced it plans to expand methane production in Beaumont, TX. The planned plant will have a capacity of 5,000 metric tons per day. The project is expected to involve 3,000 construction jobs over the next three years and generate 240 new permanent job positions at the plant. The capital investment is expected to be approximately $1 billion.

Natgasoline was approved by the EPA under greenhouse gas regulations and is prepared to undertake the expansion of its operations. The plant will be built on a portion of a 514 acre plot owned by OCI and is expected to be fully operational in 2016. The plant will be the largest methane production plant in the US when the expansion is complete.

With the announcement of the EPA approval and expansion plans, Natgasoline LLC was awarded a $2.1 million "investment" through the Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF). The $2.1M is contingent upon other local incentive programs and agreements that have not yet been finalized. They are expected to be completed in the near future.

Nassef Sawiris, CEO of OCI N.V. made the following statement upon the release of the news regarding the approval and the TEF grant:

"Following the success of OCI Partners LP's Beaumont facility, OCI is pleased to have selected the State of Texas once again to expand its North American methanol activities. The effort shown by Gov. Perry and the Beaumont community reaffirms our commitment to Beaumont and the state of Texas."
Governor Rick Perry made the following statement regarding the announcement:

"Texas has created a job-friendly economic environment through our low taxes, smart regulations, fair courts and skilled workforce that welcomes world-class companies looking to expand or relocate their operations.  Natgasoline's commitment to expanding and creating jobs in Texas further strengthens our energy industry and continues the Lone Star State's longstanding role in fueling the nation."

Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick added these additional remarks:

"I greatly appreciate the cooperative assistance the governor's office has given us through the TEF in bringing this project to Texas. This continues the 10 year legacy of numerous industries choosing to locate in Jefferson County's business friendly environment."

The TEF was created in 2003. I has since undergone several re-appropriations, the latest during the 83rd legislative session, this year. To date, the TEF has invested over $500M in business expansion incentives. These incentives have created approximately 70,000 jobs and generated  over $23B in capital investments within the state of Texas. Proponents of the TEF cite it as among the many reasons the Texas economy is thriving despite dismal economic conditions across the country. Perhaps even economists  Dr. Art Laffer and Stephen Moore would agree? Their study comparing Texas and California appears to suggest so.