Plans are in motion for a $6.5 billion alternative fuel plant in the Kingman area, and Mohave County officials say it could bring international recognition to Western Arizona.
Texas-based Nacero alternative fuel company is seeking a 50-cent per-gallon tax credit in the U.S. Congress this year, and the Mohave County Board of Supervisors voted on Monday to endorse the project. The tax credit has existed since 2005 under the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act.
Sixteen years ago, the federal law was passed to reduce America’s reliance on foreign oil and encourage the domestic production of clean energy. According to Nacero Board Chairman Tom Tureen, the company is well-qualified for the incentive.
“There is a lot going on in Congress this year, and Nacero should be included in any measures being adopted that would accelerate or encourage this type of facility,” Tureen said.
The planned Nacero facility would produce a gasoline alternative from natural gas reserves. According to Tureen, the company will create a gasoline alternative that can be used in any existing gasoline-powered engine. Using a combination of feedstock and captured methane gas, Tureen says the alternative fuel would create fewer byproducts than the production of gasoline, and create a far lower – or in some cases nonexistent – carbon footprint.
Tureen expects the federal tax credit to aid in the development of identical plants in Texas, Pennsylvania and in the Kingman area, at Griffith Industrial Park.
“We’re expecting to break ground on our plant in Texas by the end of the year,” Tureen said. “These projects will be about $6.5 billion in the first phase. It’s a huge undertaking. We’re hoping to break ground in Kingman within the next 24 months.”
According to Tureen, Griffith Industrial Park is an ideal location for Nacero’s production facility.
“It has a natural gas pipeline already in place, and we seek to use existing infrastructure as much as we can,” Tureen said. “It’s near the railroad and (Interstate 40), and geographically, it’s not hard to see. It’s perfectly situated to serve the Southwest. It’s a good, centralized location.”
Tureen says the plant will create about 80% of the water needed for its operations as a natural byproduct of its fuel. Also created will be hydrogen, which Tureen says the company will also sell.
“We expect Nacero to become one of the largest hydrogen suppliers in the country,” Tureen said.
Nacero is a private company, and according to Tureen, it might not be publicly-traded for some time. But the company’s future plans have already received attention from some major financial players, Tureen said. Tureen could not elaborate on who those potential future investors were as of this week.
Nacero’s initial plans could bear fruit later this year, and members of the Mohave County Board of Supervisors expressed optimism on Wednesday.
“I’m hoping for the best,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Buster Johnson. “Our resolution was a very preliminary first step, and we will be looking into (Nacero’s goals) in-depth as the project moves forward for approval.”
Nacero officials will still be required to seek full permitting for their planned facility from the county over the next two years. If the project is ultimately approved by the board of supervisors, county records show the project could bring more than 400 permanent jobs to the county after completion – and about 2,500 jobs during the plant’s five years of planned construction.
“Obviously it will bring jobs, but more important is the interest it will generate for Mohave County,” Johnson said. “A project of this magnitude will bring notice to our county throughout the world. And site locators (for other businesses) will be taking a look at Mohave County when relocating or expanding, because of this.”