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Refinery proposed for Rusk County

By Angela Ward award@news-journal.com
Feb. 16, 2012 at 10 p.m.


Rusk County soon may be home to a new refinery that County Judge Joel Hale said would have a "heck of an economic impact."

Kenneth D. Williams, a Rusk County native who works for Gregg County Refinery, spoke to the commissioners court earlier this week about his hopes to begin construction on a refinery within the next 120 days.

The proposed refinery site is a 165-acre tract of land on the north side of Texas 323 near New London, Hale said.

"We're definitely hoping this becomes a reality," Hale said. "It would have a very large and very positive economic impact on Rusk County."

The company is trying to secure financing for the project and will have to go through the state permitting process, he said.

"While it's not a done deal yet, by any means, it's something that looks likely to happen within the year," Hale said.

The refinery would provide employment for up to 400 people while it is being constructed and would have about 85 permanent, full-time employees once it was up and running, he said.

Cost for the project is estimated at $266 million and should pump about $8 billion into the county's economy during the next next decade, Hale said.

"A project as large as this would have a ripple effect," he said. "The new employees, and even the temporary employees who participated in the construction, would use various services and products provided by business in our county."

The location for the facility is in West Rusk Independent School District, which recently passed a bond.

"Having a new business of that size constructed in the school district would almost certainly be an asset to the students there," Hale said. "The company seems interesting in being a good corporate citizen."

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