Two major business announcements were made in Sealy Monday that will significantly impact both Sealy and the Texas coast.
Officials with Remitite America, makers of adhesives and sealants, announced plans to build a large manufacturing and research plant in Sealy and then announced plans to build a massive shipyard on the Texas coast. The dual announcements were made to a group of local elected officials at the Hill Community Center by the principals of the South Korean company that has an office in Katy.
Speaking through an interpreter, Remitite CEO Gwangmyeong Park said he made a global search for places to locate his companies and settled on southeast Texas.
“When he found Sealy he decided this was the place,” the interpreter said.
Park initially announced that the ROSE (Remitite Offshore and Shipbuilding Engineering) Shipyard would be constructed next to Port O’Connor in Matagorda Bay. That plan was contingent on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department providing the 8,972 acres for the site and the U.S. Port Authority dredging a ship channel.
In a pre-development meeting Tuesday morning, Sealy officials informed Park that the location was not plausible because the state does not give away land and the swampy area lacks infrastructure.
Park envisions the shipyard employing up to 45,000 people, producing 144 ships a year, and having sales of $18 billion annually. On Tuesday Park took into consideration advice from Sealy Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Robert Worley who said getting nearly 9,000 acres along the coast would be very difficult. Worley recommended scaling back the plans to seek 1,800 acres by an existing port to the east between Bay City and Houston.
The Remitite officials estimate that creation of the shipyard would eventually lead to the creation of a new city with a population of about a million people. The shipyard would be the third in the company’s portfolio.
“The U.S. shipyard will operate as a large shipyard that builds large merchant ships, special ships, cruise ships, and offshore plants,” the business plan states. “The Korea shipyard will operate as a medium-size shipyard that produces medium-sized ships. The Indonesia shipyard will operate as a coastal platform production and repair shipyard.”
Remitite advisor Y.J. Cho explained that the proposed shipyard would be built in three phases. The first part, called Yard I, would build large, high-end vessels including LNG and LPG carriers, crude oil carriers, container ships, semi-submerged ships and cruise ships. Yard II would be a wind turbine plant and focus on wind turbine assembly. Yard III would construct and maintain offshore plants such as floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels, floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) vessels, and spar and tension-leg platforms (TLP), commonly called offshore rigs.
Cho said Yard I would be built in four phases, each allowing for increasingly larger ships to be built. The plan initially calls for the employment of 1,500 people, going up to 3,750 by the first year they are ready to produce ships. They estimate 12 ships a year to begin.
Without using tax abatements or other government incentives, Remitite America purchased a 29-acre site off Interstate 10 and Pyka Road next to the former BAE Systems site now owned by Hailiang Copper Texas. Plans call for three major buildings for engineering, a laboratory, and a factory. Adjacent to that would be an apartment complex for employees.
The Sealy facility is projected to have a $8.2 million investment and $12 million a year in sales, eventually reaching $102 million annually. Team manager Danny Han said the facility will ultimately employ 550 people. The company produces sealants and adhesives, primarily for the oil and gas industry. Among their larger clients are ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, DSME, and Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. The engineering facility would also work on designs for ships and offshore plants that would tie into the shipyard plans.
Worley said the plan for Remitite to come to Sealy came as a surprise. He credited real estate agent Kay Krampitz with breaking the news after she completed sale of the site. He estimated that it would take about a year before the company is ready to break ground on the site.
After the presentation, elected officials seemed a little stunned by what they had just learned.
“These are exciting times for Sealy, but I’m going to need to digest this a little more,” said Councilwoman Dee Anne Lerma.
“It’s good to have a company like this come in an make a presentation like this,” added Councilman Adam Burttschell.