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Groundbreaking may bring jobs
BEAUMONT- BY: Jennifer Gordy
A groundbreaking later this week may mean thousands of jobs for our area. Natgasoline, LLC. will also put Beaumont on the map as number one in the nation for production.
If you've heard of methanol it's probably because of Indy race cars. It's the fuel that makes them go. Jeff Branick, Jefferson County Judge says, "It's going to be a big boost to the economy, which is something I'm always interested in"
And when a company called Natgasoline breaks ground at its Beaumont site, it plans to build the largest methanol production facility in the U. S.
"We're hopeful that the permitting process will be completed this year and that they'll be able to begin construction in September of this year." Branick states.
Where will all that methanol go? There's a growing market for methanol as a direct fuel, but most methanol is used as a feed stock that helps make many other products like plastic and paint. Natgasoline will take in natural gas and turn it into methanol. Southeast Texas could see a drop in its unemployment numbers, as Natgasoline is expected to bring 3000 temporary construction jobs and 240 permanent jobs to the area and that's good news for people looking for work.
Owusu Hanchett is unemployed and says, "It's been rough. I've been looking for work for two and a half years and I still haven't gotten a job."
Brandon McDonald is looking for work and says, "Anything right now to bring anything home."
Pat Avery with the consulting firm for Natgasoline says the plant will be built from the ground up.
"It's really exciting to see the are come alive with all the work that's going to be here. Billions and billions of dollars are being spent between Baytown and Lake Charles and it's great for the state of Texas," say Avery. It's one more sign that the petrochemical industry remains the backbone of the Southeast Texas economy. The plant is expected to be in production by the end of 2016.