OC board indicates it will grant Nacero extension

Nacero TX 1 LLC asked for more time on its tax abatement agreement with Odessa College during the board of trustees work session Tuesday.

Board Chair Gary Johnson said they would recommend the board approve the extension. The extension would be for three years.

The Ector County ISD Board of Trustees recently approved an extension as well.

OC President Gregory Williams said Nacero Director of Community Relations Wesley Burnett has kept in touch with him and the OC team to keep them apprised of what’s going on with the project.

According to its website, “Nacero’s Penwell facility will convert billions of British thermal units (Btus) of renewable natural gas and associated gas from the Permian into over 1 billion gallons of SAF (sustainable aviation fuel), LCAF (Lower Carbon Aviation Fuel) and other light products annually. Using captured biogas feedstock, integrated carbon capture, and 100% renewable power will result in millions of tons of CO2 savings annually while creating thousands of clean energy jobs and adding a forecast $20 billion to the regional economy.”

Burnett said the plant will be located two miles west of FM 866 on the north side of I-20 near Penwell.

Plans are still to have 350 full-time and 150 contract workers at the plant and 2,500 construction jobs.

He added that they don’t anticipate any less than seven to 10 years of construction. The cost has been estimated at $7 to $10 billion.

Burnett estimated that environmental work will start in the first or second quarter of 2024.

“Our commitment to investment and job creation hasn’t changed,” he said.

He said Nacero has 600 acres under control and there are other sections around them. Initially, they were going for 2,600 acres.

Plans are also to use solar power for the Nacero plant.

The Oberon solar project is about 7 miles to the west, Burnett said.

The audit report from Whitley Penn showed a clean audit.

Chief Financial Officer Brandy Ham said key points from the audit are:

  • An increase in their current assets.
  • A decrease in their long-term debt.
  • OC ended the year with a surplus of $11.6 million.
  • Of that $11.6 million, $6 million of that goes into the unrestricted reserves.
  • 25 percent of that change in their unrestricted position goes toward Vision 2030 ($1.1 million).
  • 10 percent goes toward the OC Promise scholarship program, which is $443,000.
  • Clean audit with no findings.

Ham said it’s recommended they have six months of reserves.

This year, they have 7.9 months worth of reserve up from 7.2 months last year.

On a separate item, Johnson said the finance committee decided it was in the best interest of the college that they not award a rebate to Orgis Energy, a solar energy firm.

The rebate went through when Orgis first requested it, but Johnson said they didn’t start the project on time.