Silsbee is an area with access to major transportation options including a switchyard that has been active for over 100 years with tracks running North-South and East-West. This allows local industry leaders to ship their items across the U.S. or to one of the local ports. Silsbee is ideally placed mere miles from three major ports, the Port of Port Arthur, the Port of Orange, and the Port of Beaumont. These ports are major transportation hubs located on the Sabine Neches Waterway, one of the only waterways in the Gulf of Mexico projected to soon be deep enough to accommodate super freighters. Because of this, and the soon to be completed Panama Canal Expansion Project, these ports will accommodate expedited shipping from super freighters all over the world, which, at the moment, not even the Port of Houston can do. Because of the anticipated completion of the Panama Canal Expansion Project, aggressive construction upgrading the infrastructure on local roadways has begun and is largely completed. Not only are these key transportation factors, but Silsbee is located less than twenty miles from Interstate 10 (in Beaumont). This interstate spans the country, beginning in Jacksonville, Florida and ending in Los Angeles, California.
Silsbee, located in Hardin County, is the 7th largest timber producing county in the state of Texas. Silsbee's location is also beneficial strategically because of its proximity (within 20 miles by truck or rail) to the Port of Beaumont, one of the busiest International ports in the US.
East Texas has also rapidly attained international attention as a producer of Biomass energy. Biomass supply potential in East Texas includes wood waste from logging and biomass thinning operations in the region. Logging residue includes tops, limbs, and unutilized cull trees. Wood waste from biomass thinning includes woody biomass from pre-commercial thinning and timber stand improvement thinning.
Overall, about 4.3 million dry tons of wood waste is potentially available annually for energy generation in East Texas, 35 percent from logging residue and 65 percent from biomass thinning.
The Port of Beaumont was highlighted in an article by the Beaumont Enterprise which emphasized the exportation of wood pellets to Europe. Silsbee is ripe for this growing industry, with outstanding timber resources, road and rail facilities, and proximity to the Port of Beaumont.
Silsbee has also gained international attention for alternative energy by the conversion of a local refinery to a biorefinery, which makes renewable building block products for the chemical and fuel industries. The Silsbee biorefinery converts renewable raw materials into isobutanol and renewable hydrocarbons that can be directly integrated on a "drop in" basis into existing chemical and fuel products to deliver environmental and economic benefits. South Hampton biorefinery produces several products including biojet fuel, isooctane for gasoline, isooctane and paraxylene for plyethylene terphthalate (PET).
Texas is an ideal location for growth in alternative energy and was ranked America’s Top State for Business 2012, according to CNBC’s sixth-annual study that scored all 50 states on 51 measures of competitiveness. CNBC scored each state based on input from business groups and public information from the states themselves. Each state received points based on ten broad categories including: cost of doing business, workforce, economy, education, quality of life, technology and innovation, infrastructure & transportation, cost of living, business friendliness, and access to capital.
According to USA Today, Texas has moved past New York as the nation’s second largest economy, and the Wall Street Journal has credited the state’s low taxes and employer-friendly environment with helping make Texas the job creation capital of the nation. Texas is the nation’s leading exporting state for the tenth year in a row, and was recently named the “Best State to Do Business” by CEO Magazine for the eighth year in a row. Texas consistently ranks among the top states for Fortune 500 headquarters.
“Alternative Energy” by Susan Kilcrease is attributed to the Silsbee EDC and is available here. http://www.silsbeeedc.com/alternative-energy.html