Local Business Man May Purchase Part of Closing Flint Hills Plant

By Wyatt Goolsby
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - An Odessa businessman has expressed interest in purchasing part of the Flint Hills Plant.

No deal is official yet, but it's very possible at least part of this facility could be saved. That is welcome news for workers employeed at the plant and the City of Odessa.

"Our plant absolutely depends on that feedstock, we can't get that feedstock from any other source in the United States," Nick Fowler, the Owner and President of Orion Pacific-Orrex, said regarding a Flint Hills byproduct his company uses.

It's no secret Fowler wants to keep Flint Hills up and running.

"We could either just let things happen or we can go make something happen," Fowler explained. "And we feel like we should give every effort to make something happen."

Back in November, Flint Hills officals said the tough national economy makes it too costly to upgrade the facility, so they planned to shut down. On Wednesday, Fowler told NewsWest 9 he's talking with the Odessa Development Corporation to get help with the funding. He only wants to buy one part of the plant, but he said that move is a good thing in the long run.

"If there is a petrochemical operation going on, then it makes it more attractive for other people to consider putting another chemical operation here," Fowler said. "Its the nurturing, it's like a garden, it's always better if one's already there and we feel like if we can be an anchor, we might be able to attract other opportunities out here in the chemical business."

Fowler said a secrecy agreement keeps his hands tied on the details, but he hopes to save at least a hundred jobs at Flint Hills. If it has it his way, he'll have a deal done in the next 60 days.

"I hope the city and the Odessa Development Corporation will see it that way, that it really is an opportunity for us not to just lie back but to actually do something positive," Fowler added.

Flint Hills officals said they won't comment on possible deals because of privacy. The Odessa Development Corporation will talk about the possible sale in a meeting Thursday.

If it does get the green light from all sides, it's some good news for lots of workers in West Texas.