Matagorda Island

The Matagorda Island Lighthouse on Matagorda Island is jointly owned by the Texas General Land Office and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It is cooperatively managed as the Matagorda Island National Wildlife Refuge and State Natural Area.

An adhesive company’s plan to build a 9,000-acre shipyard on Matagorda Bay near Port O’Connor came as news to Calhoun County Judge Richard Meyer.

“(Calhoun County) has not been approached by any new industry, particularly regarding the Port O’Connor area,” Meyer said Tuesday.

The plan to build a shipyard is this area was announced in September, at a meeting between company spokespeople from Remitite America and Sealy elected officials in Sealy.

In Sealy, the company, which produces adhesives and sealants for oil and gas companies, also plans to build a manufacturing and research plant.

The agency that owns the coastal land, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, was similarly surprised.

“The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has not been approached by Remitite America,” said Stephanie Garcia, an information specialist with the state agency.

What’s more, the land acquisition wouldn’t even be possible.

Garcia said the land is being operated as a wildlife management area. The Matagorda Island WMA consists of nearly 60,000 acres of offshore barrier islands and bay.

During the meeting, Sealy Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Robert Worley advised company officials to look elsewhere for the shipyard project.

Also during that meeting, Remitite adviser Y.J. Cho detailed a three-part plan to construct high-end vessels, a wind turbine plant and construct offshore rigs.

He also said the plan would ultimately employ more than 3,000 people.

A spokesman for Remitite America, which is a South Korean company with an office in Katy, said he was unable to comment on the plans for construction of a shipyard.

He said construction of the manufacturing and research center in Sealy will probably begin in early 2020.

Morgan O'Hanlon is the business and agriculture reporter for the Victoria Advocate. She can be reached at 361-580-6328, or on Twitter @mcohanlon.

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Morgan covers business for the Victoria Advocate. She was born and raised in Austin, Texas and received her bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin.

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