A Missouri-based energy company is seeking a zoning change to build a $120 million power generation facility on land off Attwater Avenue, which would be a boon to the city’s tax base, officials said.

The city will hold a public hearing May 1 about whether to rezone property west of the Ashland chemical plant, 4501 Attwater Ave., for future use as a peaking power plant, or a facility generally only used when there is high demand, said Mike Alvarado, senior vice president of asset development for ProEnergy, the company behind the development.

ProEnergy owns about 40 acres near the Ashland chemical plant that company officials would like to use for the facility, but the area is currently zoned as single-family residential, Alvarado said. In order for the company to move forward on the facility, that property would have to be rezoned to accommodate the development.

The company already has been through two public meetings about the plans and hasn’t experienced much pushback, given that the property is near several industrial facilities, Alvarado said.

“This is a very small footprint,” Alvarado said.

Mayor Matt Doyle said Tuesday he didn’t expect rezoning would cause much controversy, and this is an instance where it would make more sense for it not to be residential property anyway.

“We’ve got a lot of exciting things happening in Texas City, tax base-wise,” Doyle said. “If even half come to fruition, it’ll be great. But if all of them do, that will be really good for us.”

While ProEnergy owns 40 acres near the 5500 block of Attwater Avenue, the power plant facility itself would operate on about 6 acres, Alvarado said.

“The facility will largely handle itself,” Alvarado said. “What that means is that you won’t find half a dozen or a dozen employees at the location. It will be largely remote-operated, with 24-hour-per-day monitoring. And we’ll have one or two individuals there intermittently during the seven-day workweek.”

The company chose Texas City for the $120 million facility because of its proximity to other industrial facilities and because of its connections to other transmission and gas lines nearby, Alvarado said.

Power generated by the facility would help increase the capability of the grid in about a 50-mile radius around Houston, Alvarado said.

ProEnergy has similar facilities being constructed to the east of Houston and near Corpus Christi, Alvarado said.

Matt deGrood: 409-683-5230; matt.degrood@galvnews.com


(4) comments

Rusty Schroeder

This was proposed in Santa Fe but the City Council, except 1, and Mayor caved to pressure by residents that had countless unfounded claims. It would have been great for our tax base in a location that little else can be built. Texas City will approve this and add to their tax base, while Santa Fe watches another city take advantage of their mistake. The Mayor told me after denying the zoning change, "hopefully they will come back with a better proposal". Well Jason, they did, in Texas City. While the folks on Ave. T just south of 28th Street are getting a Kinder Morgan amine processing plant in their neighborhood and Santa Fe gets nothing added to the tax base. This was a bad decision for a town that needs more than a residential tax base, we gave Texas City a gift with this 4 - 1 vote. rs

James Reeves

$120 million is a lot to spend on 6 acres. I don't recall there being any high transmission power lines on those big metal towers in that area. One would think they would need to hook up into something like that to supply power to a 50 mile radius of Houston. My concern would be if they did need to build a power transmission easement through the Hughes road neighborhood west of there to get to the high power transmission lines that are west of Highway 3.

Rusty Schroeder

$120 Million is the plant, they aren't spending that much on the property.

Randy Chapman

There are transmission lines nearby.

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