Major project along U.S. 69 calls for 600 construction workers, $1.8 billion investment

Published 12:18 am Thursday, August 17, 2023

BEAUMONT — A clean energy project with a $1.8 billion investment that will bring jobs to the area is in the works.

Linde Inc., formerly Praxair, is looking to construct an auto-thermal reforming unit to produce hydrogen and capture the CO2 to be sequestered in cavern storage cells to provide a green production facility, according to information from Jefferson County officials.

The property is located on the east side of U.S. 69, nearly across the highway from the prison area.

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A reinvestment zone for the property was created, including the parcels of land, which comes with an abatement to begin Jan. 1 and end Dec. 31, 2033.

There are stipulations to the agreement.

Upon completion, Linde must maintain 30 fulltime employees to partner with OCI to procure “hydrogen and nitrogen with 99 percent clean of carbon to OCI,” according to Fred Jackson, assistant to the county judge.

Construction is to be complete in 2026.

The abatement, which is where an entity pays a portion of their property tax as an incentive to locate to a specific area, schedule varies from year to year.

2024 — 60 percent

2025 — 60 percent

2026 — 100 percent

2026 — 100 percent

2028 — 100 percent

2029 — 90 percent

2030 — 80 percent

2031 — 70 percent

2032 — 70 percent

2033 — 70 percent

According to information from Linde, the project would have a positive economic benefit to the County, provide employment and assist local economic benefits, as well as enhance the tax base of the Beaumont Independent School District.

During peak construction, operators look to employ 600 temporary construction workers, with 30 permanent jobs reportedly paying more than the average regional wage of the County, estimated to be more than $85,000 annually.