OC officials are “confident” billion dollar project is coming
Local officials are “confident” Orange County will be chosen over a Lousiana site for a $1.25 billion liquified gas terminal which will be located on the Orange County side of the Neches River.
A timeline has not been given as to when the business, Enterprise Products, will make a decision. But, Bobby Fillyaw, direector of the Orange Economic Development Corporation, said it should be in the near future. Once they make a decision, contruction is expected to start by late spring.
If the county should be awarded the terminal, it will mean hundreds of temporary contruction jobs and 15 permanent jobs. Even though the facility will not have a large, full-time staff, the jobs are high-paying.
According to Bobby Fillyaw this is the single largest investment to Orange County. It will help the tax base and build an infrastructure for future projects.
The company owns a simliar facility in Mont Belvue and owns the 1,800 acre tract for the terminal. He said the land the company owns is an advantage for Orange County.
‘We feel very confident that this project will locate in Orange County,’ he said. “But, there is still a lot to be done.”
Fillyaw added, the county has a good relationship with the company too.
Enterprise Products is in the energy transportation business. They will purchase the gas and transfer it to liquid form before shipping it out overseas.
The company plans to build a ship terminal, cooling docks and docks to transport the LPG.
During a recent meeting of the Orange County Commissioners Court, they created a reinvestment zone for the project. That designation is needed before the county and other entities can negotiate for tax abatements. Fillyaw said the Orangefield school district needed the reinvestment zone before getting the abatement request to the state.
The Orangefield school board recently voted to send a request to the Texas Comptroller’s Office to get approval of possible tax abatements. Fillyaw said the state will approve the action with the school within the next few weeks.
The location of the business is not considered to be a danger to the community.
“Liquid forms are more stable,” Fillyaw said.
In addition, there will not be a large storage facility on the grounds and it will not be close to any residential areas. The faciilty in Mont Belvue has been in operation for about 20 years without any incidents.
For now, Orange County officials, who have been eager about the developments, are hoping for a brighter new year.