Formosa Plastics to donate multi-purpose arena in exchange for tax abatement


Feb. 1, 2012 at 6:02 p.m.
Updated Feb. 1, 2012 at 8:02 p.m.

Calhoun County residents will have one more venue for concerts, car shows and rodeos with Formosa Plastics' decision to donate a multi-purpose arena to the county.

The move is part of a tax abatement plan the county commissioners court approved on Jan. 26, to assist Formosa in constructing a new hydrocarbon fractionator, County Judge Michael Pfeifer said.

Calhoun County received the arena, which has an estimated value of $1 million, in return for an eight-year, 100-percent tax abatement.

The fractionation unit - a $150 million to $200 million project - will assist Formosa in its constant search for feedstocks, said Bill Harvey, the company's communications manager. The process requires Formosa to split natural gas into fractions the company can then use to create its plastic resins.

"This is an excellent opportunity for us," Harvey said.

The new unit means an estimated 300 to 400 construction jobs throughout the two-year building period, Harvey said in an email. Once complete, it will mean 20 additional full-time jobs. That is in addition to Formosa's 2,200 current full-time jobs.

This is the first time the county has taken such an approach to abatements, Pfeifer said, calling the agreement a win-win for both parties.

"It's just a good way to say, 'Hey. We'll help you, you help us,'" he said. "I think it's a good deal."

The arena could offer a boost to Port Lavaca hotels, restaurants and the like, Pfeifer said, depending on the types of events that come to town.

Although the agreement called for a covered, multi-use arena, plans are still in their infancy and no design has been chosen.

"We're already getting a lot of construction companies calling, wanting to bid," he said, noting Formosa has two years to build the arena. "I tell them it's happening, but it's not happening right now."



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