City Council OK’s Summit Energy, Not Flint Hills

By Cierra Putman
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - The Odessa City Council decided on two hot button issues on Tuesday night.

First, they approved construction of a new clean coal plant, but when it came to resurrecting an old business in Odessa, they put their decision on the back burner.

The City Council gave the green light for Summit Energy to construct a new clean coal power plant; a move that could bring in 1,000 temporary jobs and more than 100 permanent ones.

The city is offering Summit Energy a 5 million dollar incentive to set up shop in our area, but there's a catch.

Summit has to prove their good for the money, if they don't get up and running and the project fails, the city will get their money back.

"The contract that ODC approved made the $5 million available upon the commercial operations of the plant. So basically what that means is they've got to build the plant, make it operational and then Summit gets the $5 million," Odessa City Manger Richard Morton, said. "The two caveats that you heard council approve, were if Summit could produce a letter of credit for $5 million or if they could put $5 million in escrow then at that point, we'd release the $5 million."

Most of the members voted in favor of the plan, but not all.

Councilman Bill Cleaver told NewsWest 9, he thought the project wouldn't pay for itself and said Odessa has enough plants as it is.

The project is still not a sure thing, but Summit Energy now has to decide if their happy with the new terms.

As for Flint Hills, council members decided not to take any action on the issue.

The City of Odessa was looking at taking over a portion of the closed plant, and then handing over part of the property to the Rexene Corporation.

Rexene Corporations CEO/Chairman wasn't happy the council didn't decide to take over part of the old plant to help them out.

He didn't want to go on camera but says his company plans to discuss other options on Wednesday.

Ultimately, he thinks the council's decision "killed" any hopes for them to move forward and bring in more than 500 new jobs to Odessa.