FLORENCE — Funding for the zero-sulfur gasoline production plant planned for Casa Grande received support from the Pinal County Board of Supervisors Wednesday.
The board passed a resolution supporting legislation creating fast-track authority for the federal Title 17 Advanced Fossil Energy Projects loan guarantee program and allowing Nacero’s Casa Grande plant to be considered.
“I think this is an opportunity to bring some federal dollars to help promote clean energy and a lot of jobs,” Supervisor Steve Miller, R-Casa Grande, said. “I think we should support it and hopefully we can get somebody in Washington, D.C., to take a look at it.”
Nacero Inc. plans to build a $3.3 billion facility to convert natural gas to gasoline along Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway across from Abbott Nutrition and Frito-Lay.
County Manager Louis Andersen told the board Title 17 includes a back-to-work fund, and this is what the board is supporting. The resolution also conveys the county’s support to state officials for their application for funding to expedite the Casa Grande plant and another one in Kingman.
Supervisors Chairman Anthony Smith, R-Maricopa, said a project of this size is such a “rarity,” it will be years in development but will bring much-needed employment to the county. He said the county’s lobbyist is working “to help shepherd it through our congressional delegation.”
The resolution further notes the Casa Grande Nacero plant would create 2,000 construction jobs and 265 permanent high-paying jobs. Arizona State University estimates the plant would add $6.9 billion to the state’s economy over 40 years. When fully operational, the plant would produce 35,000 barrels of gasoline per day.
In other business Wednesday:
- The board approved an agreement with the Arizona Department of Corrections for the short-term housing of Pima County jail inmates awaiting transfer to a state prison. Up to 35 inmates will be housed at the Pinal County jail until April 20 for a COVID-19 screening period. The state will pay Pinal County $123 per inmate per day plus overtime expenses.
- The board approved an agreement with Waste Management of Arizona for closure of the Dudleyville Landfill. Waste Management will perform closure of the facility and Pinal County will do post-closure maintenance and monitoring for 30 years. Waste Management will build a transfer station to accept trash from area residents before the landfill is closed.
- The board approved a new forensic technician job classification in the Medical Examiner’s Office. The position will be fully funded by a new agreement in which the Pinal County medical examiner provides investigation and examination services as needed to Gila County.
- The board approved the elimination of several positions and the creation of several new positions in the Superior Court Clerk’s Office.