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Thought a thread about economic activity in Houston and its surroundings would be interesting. Mods feel free to merge if there is an existing topic. 

 

JETI (Jobs, Energy, Technology, and Innovation Act) has just recently launched to replace the Texas Enterprise Fund and just a couple of days after Summit Next Gen LLC submitted a request for economic incentives to develop the world's largest Ethanol Plant to Jet Sustainable Aviation Fuel Facility in Galena Park. The link to their application:

https://assets.comptroller.texas.gov/open-data/jeti/J0001/J0001-summit-galena-app.pdf

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ALDEN, Iowa and DES PLAINES, Ill., May 15, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Summit Agricultural Group announces the creation of Summit Next Gen, a sustainable aviation fuel production platform that will revolutionize the global aviation industry by providing a scalable supply of low-carbon jet fuel. Summit Next Gen will utilize Honeywell's (NASDAQ: ) processing technology to convert ethanol into sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). Through the project, Summit Next Gen creates an additional market for low-carbon ethanol producers and advances the sustainability g

 

 

Another project to the west in Brookshire is a solar panel manufacturing facility by Waaree. 

https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/indias-waaree-invest-1-bln-texas-solar-panel-factory-2023-12-21/

 

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Dec 21 (Reuters) - India's top solar panel maker Waaree Energies (WAAN.NS), opens new tab on Thursday said it would invest up to $1 billion to build a factory in Texas to take advantage of soaring U.S. demand for clean energy.
The announcement is the latest major corporate commitment to solar manufacturing since passage of U.S. President Joe Biden's landmark climate change law last year which offers subsidies and tax breaks for clean energy projects.
 
dia's solar manufacturing industry is growing rapidly and just beginning to use its know-how in the United States, with both countries looking to build a clean energy sector to compete with China.
Waaree said that by 2027 its planned Brookshire, Texas facility will be one of the largest solar factories in the U.S., with an annual capacity of 3 gigawatts (GW) of panels when it opens in late 2024, then expanding to 5 GW.

 

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I have questions about Houston's Life Science/Biotechnology sector.  Not sure if this is the right thread to discuss it.

Why doesn't Houston's biotech/life science sector take off? It's a perfect idea considering the Texas Medical Center is right next door.  I've heard people talk about politics. Most of the life science hubs are located in Democrat-ran states. I've also heard people say Houston's big medical center is non-profit, where biotech is venture capital and for-profit. It's a different type of business, where Houston is lacking.

* There are billions being spent in the TMC right now.  However, it's the already established Houston hospitals.  Different than recruiting life science companies from Boston to build a new tower.

See this HBJ cover:

nWeFnCA.png

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3 minutes ago, Highrise Tower said:

I have questions about Houston's Life Science/Biotechnology sector.  Not sure if this is the right thread to discuss it.

Why doesn't Houston's biotech/life science sector take off? It's a perfect idea considering the Texas Medical Center is right next door.  I've heard people talk about politics. Most of the life science hubs are located in Democrat-ran states. I've also heard people say Houston's big medical center is non-profit, where biotech is venture capital and for-profit. It's a different type of business, where Houston is lacking.

* There are billions being spent in the TMC right now.  However, it's the already established Houston hospitals.  Different than recruiting life science companies from Boston to build a new tower.

See this HBJ cover:

nWeFnCA.png

Its a good point and anything that relates to Houston's economy goes. I never understood this at all either, I didn't understand how we lost arph-h to Dallas either, I was sure we were going to win the competition considering how the medical industry is a Houston special. I always felt like Houston always lacked the vision other cities have but I can tell we are starting to turn that around. Honestly don't think their is an answer to why they are not coming, but I do think it has to do with the US economy as a whole. Could just be that right now is just not the time, a lot of companies are running things tight right now. However with that being said there has been light activity in the least.

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5 hours ago, Highrise Tower said:

Why doesn't Houston's biotech/life science sector take off? It's a perfect idea considering the Texas Medical Center is right next door.  I've heard people talk about politics. Most of the life science hubs are located in Democrat-ran states. I've also heard people say Houston's big medical center is non-profit, where biotech is venture capital and for-profit. It's a different type of business, where Houston is lacking.

Pretty much every city I've lived in has had a mayor who pledged to make it a "bio-tech hub."  I don't follow this space, so which ones have actually succeeded so far?  

As for profit-driven vs non-profit, I don't think that's much of a factor anymore.  The non-profits have learned how to monetize their inventions and discoveries.  A lot of universities make millions from licensing and other deals.

Heck, Google started out as a Stanford University research project.

 

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14 hours ago, Highrise Tower said:

I have questions about Houston's Life Science/Biotechnology sector.  Not sure if this is the right thread to discuss it.

Why doesn't Houston's biotech/life science sector take off? It's a perfect idea considering the Texas Medical Center is right next door.  I've heard people talk about politics. Most of the life science hubs are located in Democrat-ran states. I've also heard people say Houston's big medical center is non-profit, where biotech is venture capital and for-profit. It's a different type of business, where Houston is lacking.

* There are billions being spent in the TMC right now.  However, it's the already established Houston hospitals.  Different than recruiting life science companies from Boston to build a new tower.

See this HBJ cover:

nWeFnCA.png

I read the article when it came out a couple of months back and I would summarize it this way...

While this concern may specifically be tied to the biosciences field/industry in Houston - it's not a set of struggles that the field/industry is having ONLY in Houston. 

It pointed to the success of March Biosciences, whose CEO credited local, Houston/TMC-based funds that have only been created in the recent past to aid it's own positive growth. 

The space is there for lease should companies want to plant their flag in the Houston area, wherever that may be. More is on the drawing board assuming there is sufficient demand for an end user. 

What was also mentioned was a need for time for the ecosystem to continue to develop locally in this field. It was also stated that there was a lack of desire among those in the C-suite level to move from their existing spaces to somewhere new. This came up later in the piece when compared to an existing market like Boston which has an investor class that could return and invest in local developments - Houston didn't really have that at present. 

It also was summarized by TMC CEO Bill McKeon who basically said that the commercial development was moving at "hyperspeed", but with that would come the investor class that could add to the "brainpower" available in time. 

Another issue is the nature of what happens in the biosciences field itself: The piece stated it was more of a 90% failure / 10% success proposition. 

McKeon, in particular, sounded pretty optimistic about the long-game though. The piece ended this way.

“Most people think life science is not happening there because they don’t see Bristol Myers Squibb or whatever,” McKeon said. “But what we’re seeing is more strategic inbound discussions with investors and companies. Once you start seeing more shots on goal, that’s when you start seeing more investors take a look at us. And that’s happening at a more rapid pace than in Boston or San Diego.”

 

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Tourism, as an economic sector, actually seems to be doing pretty well based on the previous year.

Houston sees big tourism gains in 2023 thanks to Astros, Beyoncé (houstonchronicle.com)

"About 51 million people visited Houston last year, according to early projections from Houston First, the region’s destination marketing organization. That’s an increase of more than 5% from the 48.7 million Houston welcomed in 2022, itself a bustling year for tourism as “revenge travel” took over after two years of pandemic lockdowns and social distancing.

The numbers suggest that when it comes to tourism, the city’s recovery from COVID is complete, said Michael Heckman, president and CEO of Houston First."

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6 hours ago, ChannelTwoNews said:

Tourism, as an economic sector, actually seems to be doing pretty well based on the previous year.

Houston sees big tourism gains in 2023 thanks to Astros, Beyoncé (houstonchronicle.com)

"About 51 million people visited Houston last year, according to early projections from Houston First, the region’s destination marketing organization. That’s an increase of more than 5% from the 48.7 million Houston welcomed in 2022, itself a bustling year for tourism as “revenge travel” took over after two years of pandemic lockdowns and social distancing.

The numbers suggest that when it comes to tourism, the city’s recovery from COVID is complete, said Michael Heckman, president and CEO of Houston First."

 

Could be good for more hotel development, hopefully that would finally bring the higher end brands to town. With St Regis and Ritz Carlton coming in with condo developments, would seem like they are one step closer to bringing in their hotels.

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Posted (edited)

Couple of recent headlines here, new office lease along with an expansion of operations into Houston.

 

Orsted opens a Houston office downtown. 3/6/24

https://www.power-technology.com/news/orsted-opens-new-office-in-texas/

5l-image-21.jpg

 

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Orsted has opened a new office in Houston, Texas, US, adding to its existing presence in the state. The clean energy producer has an office in Austin with 115 employees, and it owns and operates eight energy projects in Texas that collectively produce 2.4GW of electricity, with an additional 1.2GW of solar projects under construction.

Melissa Peterson, vice-president and head of Onshore and P2X Americas at Ørsted, said in a press statement: “We’re excited to bolster Ørsted’s presence in the Lone Star State, which is already home to nearly a dozen of our clean energy projects. Houston is the ideal location to base our growing Power-to-X operations, especially due to the existing energy workforce that will be needed for the engineering, construction, and operations of Ørsted’s future facilities.

“Expanding our footprint in Houston is a testament to our commitment to decarbonizing the most hard-to-electrify sectors and our continued growth in Texas and throughout the Gulf region.”

 

 

Jera and Exxon Mobil are cooperating on their production of hydrogen and ammonia. 

https://lngprime.com/asia/jera-plans-to-buy-stake-in-exxonmobils-baytown-hydrogen-project/108213/

Jera-plans-to-buy-stake-in-ExxonMobils-B

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Jera said on Monday it had reached a project framework agreement with the US energy giant to jointly explore the development of the hydrogen and ammonia production project.

Under the deal, the two firms will explore Jera’s ownership participation in the project and Jera’s procurement of about 500,000 tonnes annually of ammonia produced by the project for demand in Japan.

ExxonMobil is currently developing what it says would be the world’s largest hydrogen production plant at its Baytown refining and petrochemical complex east of Houston, Texas.

The plant is slated to have an annual production capacity of about 900,000 tonnes of hydrogen and annual production capacity of more than one million tonnes of ammonia.

Jera said the project aims to start production in 2028.

 

 

 

Edited by TowerSpotter
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21 hours ago, TowerSpotter said:

 

Could be good for more hotel development, hopefully that would finally bring the higher end brands to town. With St Regis and Ritz Carlton coming in with condo developments, would seem like they are one step closer to bringing in their hotels.

FWIW, we already have a St Regis Hotel - since 2000.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Mitsubishi Corp. joins Houston-based Starlab Space joint venture - Houston Business Journal (bizjournals.com)

"A local joint venture seeking to replace the International Space Station has landed a major international corporation as an equity owner.

Japan-based Mitsubishi Corp. said this week that it will join the Houston-based Starlab Space LLC joint venture as a strategic partner and equity owner. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Starlab is the product of a collaboration between Colorado-based Voyager Space and European aerospace giant Airbus to design and launch a private space station."

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