A multi-billion dollar project is underway in San Patricio County and the folks behind this project offered local companies the chance to take part in its construction. So far, "Gulf Coast Growth Ventures" -- which is the joint project between Exxon Mobil and Sabic -- has already awarded 13 contracts.
Of those 13, 12 were awarded to local businesses.
On Monday, we spoke with one of them. Philip Ramirez and his architecture firm were one of the first local businesses to be hired by Gulf Coast Growth Ventures. Ramirez, who was born and raised in Portland says it's always been a dream of his to work on a project of this magnitude.
"There's so many opportunities and obviously their commitment to the local job market and local economy is crucial for our continued success and economic growth." Ramirez said.
The hard work from the local businesses hasn't gone unnoticed. Robert Tully, Venture Exec for Gulf Coast Growth Ventures says the competition has been tough for all the national and local businesses competing for the work.
Tully said, "They still have to compete, they still have to have a price that wins the bid and so far we couldn't be more pleased that the local companies are winning these bids but that's up to them they're doing that part."
The $10-million plant will be the World's largest ethane steam cracker plant and aside from the jobs it's already created for companies like Turner and Ramirez Architects, once built it'll employ more than 600 people and will range in experience from high school diploma to executive positions.
Tully says it's part of their promise to be a good neighbor in the community.
"We're not here for a year or two, we're here for the long haul and we want to establish long running relationships with companies in the community." Tully said.
Construction on the plant is expected to begin in 2019 and be completed in 2021.
There will be a meeting on December 11th to discuss the plant's water permit. Reps from Gulf Coast Growth Ventures and TCEQ will be there. It will be held at Austin Elementary School in Gregory-Portland.
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