Hometown News For Orange County, Texas

ChevronPhillips spends $193 million at local businesses

The ChevronPhillips plant under construction has now spent $161 million locally during the first three quarters of 2023, making a total of nearly $193 million spent here since the official announcement of the plant's construction in November last year.

Heather Betancourth with CP's Golden Triangle Polymers communication gave the quarterly report to Orange County Commissioners Court on Tuesday.

The ChevronPhillips with partner Qatar Energy officially announced the construction of the $8.5 billion plant a year ago. Part of the county's tax abatement agreement for the construction included the corporation buying and hiring locally first. The agreement included the corporation spending money for things like a help office, job fairs, vendor-supplier fairs, and other ways to spread the money locally.

Betancourth told commissioners the company has worked with the Orange County Economic Development Corporation and chambers of commerce in across the county to hold information meetings to recruit local businesses to sell items that will be needed. More than 400 businesses attended the meetings and the company picked up 90 additional approved vendors, she said.

Golden Triangle Polymers will also be participating in the upcoming community jobs fair to help people being laid off from jobs at Invista and International Paper. Both plants announced in October they would be closing. Invista, part of Koch Industries, is also a petrochemical plant. Betancourth said Golden Triangle Polymers could use some of those workers.

Under the contract, local companies are those businesses within any of the cities of Orange County and the unincorporated areas. Local workers are considered people with primary residencies in the Golden Triangle area, including Orange, Jefferson, Hardin, Jasper, Newton, Tyler, and Chambers counties, plus the Bolivar Peninsula area of Galveston County.

The list of approved engineering, procurement, and construction companies being used are listed as Gopher Industrial, Harmann Building Specialties, HPP Corp Orange, Modern Concrete and Materials, McCoy's Building Supply, OCARC Sighsn, Orange County Building Materials, Orange County Cafe, Orange County Ice, Orange Stationer, Ramco Sand & Gravel, Sabine River Authority, Southeast Texas Industries (STI Group), STS Industrial, Wal-Mart.

The report also includes lists of local restaurants and caterers being used to provide food for Golden Triangle Polymers. The company has spent $809,000 on those kinds of smaller purchases.

In other business, Commissioners Court extended the county burn ban for another 45 days. "We are still extremely dried out," County Judge John Gothia said.

Rain is in the National Weather Service forecast for the end of the week, but Gothia said it won't be enough to eliminate the fire hazard. "It will take a substantial amount to bring that down," he said.

County Emergency Management Director Joel Ardoin said Tuesday's KPI (drought measurement) was at 647, with the state considering a drought conditions at 575 KPI.

Precinct 2 Commissioner Chris Sowell, whose precinct includes Mauriceville, said he talked to the Emergency Services District that provides fire protection service in the Mauriceville-McLewis area. They had 19 calls in the past week and have started taking Precinct 2 Constable Jeremiah Gunter with them on fire calls in case a ticket needs to be issued for violating the burn ban.

During the long, record-breaking hot summer, the county's rural fire districts began calling law officers to issue tickets, which could bring a $500 fine, or more if a wildfire starts. Outdoor burning is prohibited within all the city limits in the county.

Kurt Guidry, county maintenance director, gave an update on his projects, which developed into a discussion of heavy highway equipment being parked on county property at night or weekends. The equipment is being used by contractors working for the Texas Department of Transportation on state road improvements.

Some of the equipment is being left in Bridge City off West Roundbunch Road at the county's former Precinct 3 justice of the peace office.

Gothia said crews working on Green Avenue in Orange, which is part of Texas Business 90, have been parking their equipment on a concrete slab the county owns on West Division Avenue near the courthouse.

A building at the site was demolished, but Gothia said the slab was still good and might be used as a foundation for a future building. He said the heavy road-building machines could damage the slab.

Assistant County Attorney Denise Gremillion will research whether the owner of the machinery could be liable and if the county needs to make an agreement.


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