ZEEP to purchase shelved Texas gasification facility from Eastman Chemical Company

Sources: ZEEP, Eastman Chemical Company

Zero Emission Energy Plants Ltd. (ZEEP) has entered into a definitive agreement with Eastman Chemical Company Investments to purchase all of the membership interests of TX Energy, which is engaged in developing a gasification facility in Beaumont, Texas

The Beaumont gasification facility will convert petroleum coke, an oil refining waste product, into hydrogen (H2) and pipeline quality carbon dioxide (CO2). 

"ZEEP is anxious to continue the work started by Eastman on the Beaumont site," said Ron Oligney, ZEEP CEO. 

Announced in 2007 by Eastman Chemical Company, the Beaumont facility was expected to cost about $1.6 billion to develop. The company announced in December 2009, that the project was shelved because of “high capital costs, the current and foreseen reduced spread between natural gas and oil and petroleum coke prices, and continued uncertainty regarding U.S. energy and environmental public policy.” 

Now back on the table, the Beaumont gasification project is expected to create some 1,500 jobs during the construction phase and approximately 250 permanent jobs

"This site is uniquely suited for a gasification facility that converts waste petroleum coke into clean energy products," Oligney continued. "The primary offtake will be hydrogen, an important clean energy feedstock for transportation fuels, fertilizers and chemicals. Carbon dioxide produced from the facility will be captured and used to boost oil production in fields near Beaumont and through an existing CO2 pipeline network. This is truly a good news story for expanding clean energy, manufacturing and employment in America." 

The transaction is expected to close during the second quarter of 2011. The terms of the agreement are not being disclosed at this time. 

Zero Emission Energy Plants Ltd. is a private company focused on the development of state-of-the-art gasification facilities that convert coal, petroleum coke and biomass into high value energy products such as syngas, hydrogen, CO, CO2, methanol, gasoline and power. ZEEP has offices in Australia, Bermuda, Canada, China and the United States, and is working to develop gasification facilities in select locations around the world. In various projects, ZEEP will deploy existing gasification technologies as well as innovative proprietary gasification technologies. 

Eastman Chemical Company Investments is a subsidiary of Eastman Chemical Company (NYSE: EMN).

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