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Massive green energy facility coming to tiny Penwell

Published: Apr. 22, 2021 at 9:11 PM CDT
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - There’s not much to Penwell, TX. The small, unincorporated community just west of Odessa is so small, it wouldn’t be surprising if most Odessa residents didn’t know it existed.

But those days are about to be in the past.

“We actually feel like the Good Lord made this site for this project,” said Wesley Burnett, Director of the Odessa Development Corporation.

Now, Penwell gets to flex. Thursday morning, it was announced Houston-based Nacero Inc. would build a massive lower-carbon gasoline facility in Penwell, located just north of I-20 and west of Hwy 866. At its fullest, the facility will stretch for two miles along I-20.

“The enormity of the project is going to be unbelievable,” Burnett said.

Burnett has worked diligently to get Nacero to choose the Penwell site.

“People are going to be surprised at the impact this has. It may not be in Odessa—it’s just outside of Odessa—but Odessa and our whole region is just going to see a huge impact from this project,” he said.

The announcement was specifically designed to coincide with Earth Day because the plant is a first-of-its-kind green facility.

Its electricity will come mostly from on-site solar panels. According to Nacero, the facility will be the first in the U.S. to make gasoline from natural gas and the first in the world to do so with carbon capture and sequestration.

It’s a sign the Permian Basin is changing with the times.

“You got to find a way to make those same products in a cleaner, better, more efficient way, and I think this project does that,” Burnett said.

But Burnett is also looking at the big picture.

“The spinoffs from this project are going to be phenomenal,” he said. “Things that are going to want to be located close to the site or work along with the site in the process and things like that.”

Making little Penwell a little bigger.

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