PENWELL, Texas — When announced back in 2021, the Nacero plant being built in Penwell would be home to the first facility to manufacture gasoline from natural gas.
However, just a couple years later, Nacero CEO Jay McKenna says while the plant's location will remain the same, the product being produced has now shifted.
“Nacero is looking to do, with the Penwell facility, is to convert renewable natural gas and natural gas into lower carbon and sustainable aviation fuel,” McKenna said.
This facility is now set to produce jet fuel to help decarbonize the airline industry.
“While that opportunity still exists what we see right now on the horizon and I would say the whole industry is to be able to take those scarce low carbon resources and actually convert them to a fuel that can serve daily airline travel and decarbonize the airline industry which is really one of the hardest to decarbonize across the U.S.,” said McKenna.
They are still going through the engineering phase of this project, with hopes of starting construction soon.
"As we’ve been managing the market movements it’s extending our timelines longer than we’d like. But the way we think about the world is we only have one shot to make sure we start construction the right way. It’s making the right long term products as well. Even though it’s taking time than we’d want we see the prospects of the project still being rosy long term," McKenna said.
McKenna said this can be a world class facility right in our own backyard.
"One of the things that’s attractive about the location and bringing this plant to Odessa the pen reel area is the ability to manufacture these sustainable aviation fuels and distribute the US through the southwest and hopefully the Rockies. But the ability to have this be a world class facility," said McKenna.
"There really aren’t a lot of alternatives for the aviation sector so if we could be one of those important alternatives to help reduce the overall carbon footprint of that sector while ensuring jobs. We really want to be able to have the strongest impact possible and that was a key driver in looking at the product shift," he said.