There are exciting things happening in and around Matagorda County (list is as of September 2020).
In November 2017, TenarisBayCity completed the construction on its first steel seamless pipe mill capable of producing 600,000 tons of pipe per year at a cost of $1.8 billion on approximately 1,800- acre site east of Bay City. It directly benefited the City of Bay City and Matagorda County with employment of 670 new manufacturing jobs and an average salary of $66,000. Due to a severe downturn in the market and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, in May, TenarisBayCity laid off about 200 employees locally, and closed all other North American production facilities. As the market begins to recover and demand for drilling pipe returns, we fully expect the 200 positions to be restored with possibly more added. During the first six years of operations, the facility’s projected economic impact is more than $19 billion.
South Texas Nuclear Operating Company located just south of Bay City has 1200 employees. 52% of their employees are of retirement age. They are expected to continue hiring new employees to replace the retirees in 2020.
Below is a list of business activities that have occurred or are underway in the greater Bay City/ Matagorda County area. These projects are providing a significant infusion of capital into the local economy.
- Starbucks Coffee began construction of a new location in Bay City March 2020 and, due to the pandemic, opened to drive-through only sales on Aug. 31, 2020.
- In November 2019, Lodestar Energy Group, LLC announced plans to build the new South Texas Rail Terminal in El Maton in Matagorda County. The $32 million terminal will handle rail traffic from nearby fractionation, crude oil and natural gas storage facilities. Construction is set to begin in the first half of 2020 with operation planned by Q2 of 2021. The rail terminal will create about 10 full time jobs with excellent pay.
- In July 2019, Air Liquide announced it would begin construction of a $107 million world-scale Air Separation Unit on 20 acres at the Port of Bay City Authority facility. Air Liquide will supply oxygen and nitrogen from its industrial gas pipeline network to a planned ethane cracker facility near Corpus Christi.
- E-on completed construction on a 138 MW wind farm for Matagorda County in Q2 2020. Estimated employment at 10 employees. A second phase is in development.
- Environmental Fluids began production in 2019 at their new $5M chemical manufacturing company specializing in the production of polymers and surface-active chemistries.
- OXEA Chemicals: Completed an expansion project that created 19 new full-time, permanent jobs and resulted in a total investment of $250 million. This would include $90 million for each of the two process units and $6-8 million for a new administration/technical building pus additional investment to accommodate additional sources of syngas.
- Phillips 66 plant in Old Ocean (Sweeny is less than 15 miles from Bay City) recently completed the new Fractionator One which will supply purity natural gas liquids products to the petro chemical industry. As of June 2018, Phillips66 has planned an additional $1.5 billion expansion to transport and process more natural gas liquids. The project to construct two units to process mixed natural gas liquids into separate components including ethane, propane and butane is scheduled to begin in 2020. The project is expected to support 2,000 construction-related jobs and 25 full- time jobs. Phillips 66 Freeport LNG Export Terminal is under construction.
- Bay City ISD completed construction of their new High School Football Stadium, Junior High School and Tenie Holmes Elementary in Q1 of 2020.
- Van Vleck ISD opened its doors on the construction of their new middle school, high school, and ag shop renovation site to students and teachers for the start of the 2020/2021 school year.
- Several new gas station convenience stores with additional retail space are building on SH 35 and HWY 60 in Bay City.
- Ace Hardware – Bay City opened its doors in February 2019 creating 50 full time positions.
- Denny’s restaurant closed on property in Bay City in 2019.
- Candlewood Suites, Fairfield Inn and Best Western opened 4th quarter 2017 in Bay City.
- The historic BayTex Hotel in the downtown historic district of Bay City was recently remodeled into 18 loft-style executive apartments.
- A brand new Burger King restaurant began serving customers in the last few days of 2019 in Bay City.
- Schulman's Movie Bowl Grille opened the $15M family entertainment center in Bay City on June 1, 2017. The project includes a new 51,729 SF multi-screen theater and entertainment facility including kitchen facilities, restaurant, game area and bowling lanes.
- McCoy’s Building Supply in Bay City celebrated its Grand Opening in September of 2019.
- O'Reilly's Auto Parts store opened for business in Palacios, TX at the end of 2019.
- Beachside gated residential development with waterfront, water view and/or water access lots completed construction on the Clubhouse plus began construction on at least 7 new homes in Palacios in 2019.
- Pelican Place, a new residential development in Palacios, began construction in 2019.
- The Westwood Inn in Matagorda plans to complete construction on brand new guest amenities by end of 2020.
- East Bay Plaza -- a shopping center containing Cricket Wireless, Grit Fitness, Vibe Salon, 421 Coffeehouse and Bistro and Berkeley Eye Center –completed construction east of Bay City with new businesses opening in June of 2020.
- Matagorda County EDC is currently working on tax abatement agreements with:
- A plastics manufacturer
- A solar power project
- A pleasure boat builder
- A company providing salt dome storage near Markham
One of our main challenges is to provide the needed housing and amenities that the new Matagorda permanent workforce will require. Our housing inventory is predominately over 30 years old. I welcome the opportunity to show you the potential in Matagorda County. We would be happy to discuss any of these projects in more detail with you or your associates.