Lodestar Energy looks to place $32 million project in county


In negotiations that started back in May of this year, Matagorda County EDC Executive Director Mike Ferdinand said that the addition of Lodestar Energy will be a major boon for the county and its existing business climate.

Matagorda County Commissioners began the review process for Lodestar Energy by accepting an application for a tax abatement application during last Monday’s meeting.

According to Consultant Steven Manchester, Lodestar Energy is looking to place a $32 million dollar investment into a site in Matagorda County that would employ 10 full-time workers.

“We believe we would be a great addition to this community,” Manchester said. “But we also realize that this needs to be a win-win for everybody.”

Lodestar Energy Group announced that a 227-acre site in El Maton had been chosen as a finalist location to build the South Texas Rail Terminal.

Ferdinand said an economic impact study is in the process of being completed and will be presented to county commissioners at a later date.

“This will be a great addition to our county it is not only a clean project but it will add quality jobs to our economy as well. They will primarily use rail to transport their fuels to their proposed project site,” Ferdinand said.

A decision from Matagorda County Commissioners granting tax abatement will be a critical factor in the company’s final site selection. Lodestar is seeking abatement over five years – 85-percent in the first two years; and 75-, 50- and 25-percent, respectively, over the last three years.

“Our 227-acre terminal will be handling energy-related products resulting from the Texas Gulf Coast’s oil and gas exploration as well as its midstream and downstream manufacturing activities,” according to a letter to Commissioners from Lodestar’s President and CEO Brad Howell. “Initially, Lodestar’s South Texas Terminal will be focused on handling inbound and outbound rail traffic resulting from separate fractionation and storage facilities being considered in and around Matagorda County.”

The South Texas Rail Terminal will be a $32 million investment creating about 10 full time jobs. Positions employed at the facility will include field operators for loading, tank car movement and ancillary tasks earning about $60,000 annually; shift supervisors earning about $100,000; and a manager earning about $150,000.

The company hopes to break ground on the rail terminal in the first half of 2020 and become fully operational by the second quarter of 2021.

“Similar to Air Liquide, this project adds critical infrastructure to the county that will benefit us as we work to recruit future industries,” said Ferdinand. “This project is a long-term investment in the county that would create quality, good-paying jobs.”

Editor’s note: In the Wednesday, Sept. 25 edition, a story on Lodestar Energy contained wrong information. The Tribune regrets the error.

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