With a promise of at least 210 jobs, Riceland Farms is seeking another location in Port Arthur to build its controversial meat processing plant.
The Port Arthur City Council voted last week to block the facility from being built in Port Acres.
Consulting engineer for Riceland Farms’ slaughterhouse, Hani Tohme, said a meat market in Houston is already lined up to buy the meat that will be processed.
“We have one customer that will buy everything we produce in one shift,” said Tohme. “Eight cattle a day – a thousand sheep a day."
As for where the plant will be located, Tohme said that is still being considered, with the help of a few Port Arthur councilmembers – including those who voted against the plant being built in the Port Acres neighborhood last Monday.
“After the meeting, three of those people came to me and said 'We came in against the project, but after hearing the truth and the facts, now we are for it,’” said Tohme.
Port Arthur is attractive to Riceland Farms because the city offers it incentives if it hires people from Port Arthur.
Tohme said it will create jobs for Port of Port Arthur workers, ranchers and suppliers because thousands of animals will be shipped in.
It will also be an opportunity for people who cannot get a job in the refineries.
“If you have any kind of record, it'll be very difficult for you to get a job at the refineries,” said Tohme. "This place will not be in any way, shape or form discriminating against people who have made mistakes in their lives."
Riceland said at least 70 jobs will be made in the first year of operation.
As for when and where exactly the slaughterhouse will be built, those details are still being worked out by Riceland Farms.
The company said it will be far away from a residential neighborhood.