BEAUMONT, Texas — A company called 'Arbor Renewable Gas' wants to spend more than $1 billion to build a facility in Beaumont. However, they need the city's permission to create a special reinvestment zone to accomplish that goal.
“We assume that these kinds of companies are targeting Southeast Texas because of the refineries, Interstate 10 and the port of Beaumont,” Randy Feldshcau, Beaumont city councilman, said. “This area has a rich history of gas, oil and refining.”
The proposed area for the arbor investment zone falls between Highway 347 and Highway 69, near the Beaumont city limits. The company hired a consulting firm to present the idea to the city.
It would potentially be a four-phase project, with an initial $325 million investment creating 20 permanent jobs, and up to 300 construction jobs in Beaumont.
On Tuesday, the Beaumont city council heard a proposal for the arbor investment zone, and councilmembers who spoke with 12news said they were in support of the new venture.
“I am always in favor of new developments and new job opportunities coming into Beaumont,” Mike Getz, Beaumont city councilman, said.
Officials also believe that this will drive up the local economy.
“We would probably build that into their abatement agreement where they try to hire local construction first," Todd Simoneaux, Beaumont chief financial officer, said.
Renewable sources of energy are in demand to help other states in the country reach renewable fuel standards, John Johnson, GMJ vice president and general counsel, said.
“They are going to make renewable gasoline out of woody biomass,” Johnson said. “It is a chemical process. They are going to mix their product with conventional gasoline, and it becomes renewable gasoline."
The company claims to be the first of its kind in the U.S., and said that their gasoline could be shipped to California to help meet renewable fuel standards in the state.
A few months ago, a chemical plant considered the same location.