ORANGE, Texas — Land is currently being cleared near the site of a proposed $8 billion plant expansion in Orange County but officially the deal isn’t done yet.
The land being cleared is along Highway 87 South in Orange County near the Orange County Airport.
Chevron Phillips representatives are describing the current work being done as “land improvements” saying if the company approves Orange County as the site for the expansion then the site will be ready for construction according to Orange County Economic Development Director Jessica Hill.
Chevron Phillips currently owns about 1,560 acres of land, mostly undeveloped, along Highway 87 according to records from the Orange County Appraisal District.
In July 2020 the company said they were delaying the decision on the possible expansion project in Orange County until sometime in 2021 according to file stories.
Chevron Phillips says they are delaying their decision on whether they will build their nearly $8 billion plant in Orange until at least 2021.
Orange County officials cleared the way for the project in February 2020, approving a major tax break for Chevron Phillips in a deal commissioners felt was a game changer for the local economy.
While Chevron Phillips is considering nearly every one of their locations along the Gulf Coast as options for the expansion, their plants in Orange and Sweeny, Texas, seemed to be the front runners for the project.
Chevron Phillips had originally planned to announce its decision on where they would build their expansion between October and December of 2020. The new facility will convert natural gas liquid ethane into ethylene, which is used in most plastic products. The project would also include administrative buildings, according to state documents filed in February 2019.
The 10-year, 100% tax abatement Orange County Commissioners approved for the proposed investment in February 2020 came after months of turmoil between commissioners and a former county judge.
The agreement requires Chevron Phillips to have no fewer than 500 full-time employees. The company believes they will have up to 10,000 temporary jobs created during the construction phase, according to our partners at the Beaumont Enterprise. Construction could take 5-6 years.
In February 2019, Chevron Phillips filed for state tax incentives for the project on 1,700 acres of undeveloped near their current Orange County facility on Dupont Drive.
If Chevron Phillips builds their expansion project in Orange, the county believes there would be a $51 billion economic impact over 20 years.