INVESTMENT SNAPSHOT: BIG DEALS
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Even the Deals are Bigger in Texas

INVESTMENT SNAPSHOT: BIG DEALS
BNSF Alliance Intermodal Facility at Alliance Texas in Fort Worth
Photo courtesy of Gage Zero and Hillwood

by Ron Starner
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ou don’t become the eighth-largest economy in the world by doing small things. You get there by doing things that are big, bold and audacious.

Consider Texas. With a $2.4 trillion economy that accounts for nearly 10% of U.S. GDP, the Lone Star State continues to outpace the nation by landing record investment deals. Over the last 12 months, Texas garnered 25 capital investment projects of $250 million or greater. Cumulatively, these corporate facility expansions totaled $49.73 billion and accounted for the generation of 8,137 new jobs statewide, according to the projects database of Conway Data Inc., publisher of Site Selection magazine.

Two of the largest deals came in the energy sector. NextDecade Corp. announced an $18.4 billion energy project in Brownsville, while Sempra Infrastructure announced a $13 billion energy complex in Port Arthur. The NextDecade Rio Grande LNG export facility is the largest greenfield energy project financing in U.S. history. It was announced in July 2023.

In March 2023, Sempra announced that its subsidiary, Sempra Infrastructure Partners LP, had reached a positive final investment decision for the development, construction and operation of the $13 billion Port Arthur LNG Phase 1 project in Jefferson County. “With strong customers, top-tier equity sponsors in ConocoPhillips and KKR, and a world-class contractor in Bechtel, this project has the potential to become one of America’s most significant energy infrastructure investments over time,” said Jeff Martin, CEO and chair of Sempra, “while creating jobs and spurring continued economic growth across Texas and the Gulf Coast region.”

Sempra and NextDecade have a lot of company in Texas — and not just on the traditional oil and gas side of the energy sector. Renewable energy investors are flocking to Texas. Case in point is Waaree Energies, which announced in December that it plans to build its first U.S. solar panel factory in Brookshire near Houston. The India-based company said it will invest $1 billion at the site over four years as it scales the project to 5 GW by 2027.

The firm added that it will also build an integrated U.S.-made solar cell plant and open it by 2025. Altogether, Waaree plans to create 1,500 jobs in Texas by 2027.

From EV Chargers to Chips

These investments are not an anomaly. Across Texas, investors are lining up to spend big bucks on alternative power projects. In Fort Worth, Gage Zero and Hillwood announced plans to develop the state’s first EV fleet charging hub at AllianceTexas. Gage Zero has committed to investing $300 million into an EV charging network across the country. The new hub at Alliance is part of that investment.

In his annual Report to the People of Texas, Governor Abbott highlighted other deals making huge impacts. These include a $17 billion investment by Samsung Austin Semiconductors LLC in Taylor, creating 1,800 jobs; an $870 million, 600-job investment by Leprino Foods in Lubbock; and a $670 million, 1,529-job investment by Producer Owned Beef in Amarillo.

Data center developers are picking up the pace too. Prologis and Skybox are building a $10 billion data center on Highway 79 in Hutto near Austin; Meta is constructing an $800 million data center on just under 400 acres in Temple; and Alphabet, Google’s parent company, just announced a $600 million data center in Red Oak south of Dallas.

‘Texas Offers the Freedom to Aspire’

And for those with a healthy appetite, Plant Agricultural Systems has a project that’s sure to please: a $1.2 billion investment to bring over 3,000 acres of advanced Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) to Amarillo and Lubbock. The indoor hydroponic farms will grow leafy greens, tomatoes and strawberries. The goal, says the company, is to help turn the U.S. from a net importer of fruits and vegetables to a net exporter.

Projects like these are why Texas outpaces the nation. While the U.S. economy grew by 2.5% in 2023, Texas grew by 5.7%, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. “Texas is again outpacing the nation in economic expansion and job growth thanks to the best business climate and strongest workforce in America,” said Governor Abbott. “Across every region of this great state, Texas offers hardworking Texans the freedom to aspire.” 

Ron Starner
Executive Vice President of Conway, Inc.

Ron Starner

Ron Starner is Executive Vice President of Conway Data, Inc. He has been with Conway Data for 22 years and serves as a writer and editor for both Site Selection and the company's Custom Content publishing division. His Twitter handle is @RonStarner.

  





Texas is drawing companies from across the U.S. with its famously pro-business climate, robust infrastructure and world-class workforce.





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