TEXAS CITY — City commissioners are expected to sign off on the proposed lease of Shoal Point that eventually could lead the way to the construction of a multibillion methanol plant.

A partnership of a Chinese chemical firm and Chinese financial firm are considering the 900-acre peninsula near the Texas City Dike for the plant. Galveston County Economic Alliance officials formally announced two weeks ago what The Daily News reported last month that Texas City was one of two cities in the running for the facility. The other site in the running is near Donaldsonville, La., officials said.

The $4.5 billion plant is to be developed by the Chinese firms of Connell Group of China and Sino Life Insurance Co. that formed Fund Connell USA Energy and Chemical Investment Corp.

Under terms of the lease agreement, Fund Connell USA Energy and Chemical Investment Corp. would enter into a two-year lease for the property. Texas City controls 375 acres of Shoal Point, with the state land office controlling the rest.

The city is set to be paid $200,000 for its portion of the property. It was not yet confirmed how much Connell plans to pay the state.

The Shoal Point leases with the city and the Texas General Land Office allow the Chinese partners to continue due diligence to determine which of the two U.S. sites would get the project.

The city and county are working on economic incentives to help lure the project, and the state also might offer some help.

It is projected that during construction, which could begin as early as next year, the project would generate 1,000 direct jobs. Indirect construction jobs could top 200, officials said.

It is estimated that as many as 500 people would work at the facility.

The plant would have the capability of producing about 7.2 million tons of methanol annually and would ship almost all of the feedstock chemical to China.

The company also is building several ships to make the trek from the Gulf of Mexico to China.


At a glance

WHAT: Texas City commissioners meeting

WHEN: 5 p.m. today

WHERE: City Hall, 1800 Ninth Ave. N., in Texas City

Contact Mainland Editor T.J. Aulds at 409-683-5334 or tjaulds@galvnews.com.

(2) comments

DonnieB

The numbers for direct and in-direct jobs don't add up. So 1,000 people will build a $4.5 billion dollar plant? A complete plant, including all new infastructure, roads, rail maybe, new docks to load these large post-panama ships? Those are 1,000 of the hardest, fastest workers this country has ever seen, if that happens! Try like between 10,000 and 20,000 workers at the peak of construction, if not 30,000. And the only thing they could start on next year would be infastructure work. This ain't China! You cant' just cookie-cutter these projects and expect to just build it at a snap of the finger! Your looking at at least 4 to 5 or even 6 years until this will be completed, no matter where it's built in this country. Just because you have the designs for a plant that you probably didn't pay for, those designs have to be complete for the location of the plant. The only work I could see starting next year would be for roads, water, gas pipelines, and rail (if they even need it), oh and then dredging for the bigger ships.

George Croix

"...eventually could..."
It's deja vu all over again......

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