A long-awaited $2.6 billion energy project is one step closer to becoming a reality in Ector County.
On Monday night, the Houston based company Summit Power Group was finally able to sign contracts with Chinese and Canadian heavy industrial firms in Beijing to build the Texas Clean Energy Project plant. City officials in Odessa say this is a huge milestone.
"One of the main hurdles was getting the Chinese to sign on it -- the Chinese have signed, we're over the big hurdle, we're probably looking at a ground breaking mid-next year," Odessa Mayor David Turner said.
The 400 mega-watt coal plant will be built on a 600 acre site in Penwell, according to Turner whose council voted Tuesday night to give Summit Power Group an additional year to break ground.
Laura Miller, the Texas Director of the project, attended the city council meeting and is excited to see everyone’s hard work pay off.
"It's not only just a huge industrial facility that will create about 2,000 construction jobs, and about 150 high paying jobs at that plant, but it's a one-of-a-kind, so it will really be a tourist attraction world-wide for scientist, for environmentalist and for people in the oil business," Miller said. “It combines a lot of cutting edge features [such as] carbon capture, making of urea fertilizer, we make sulfuric acid, we make power for the city of San Antonio, so it really is a fascinating project.”
Miller says the project will be the only one of its kind in the world to capture 90% of the carbon dioxide off a power plant.
"We're just ecstatic, we’re ready to break ground and you know bring $2.6 billion on to the tax rolls," Turner said.
Summit Power Group's next goal is to have the project funded for by spring of 2016.