Carbo Ceramics, Inc. seeking incentives from JWC, City of Alice

Ofelia Garcia Hunter, Alice Echo-News Journal

A worldwide company that caters to the oil and gas industry could make its debut soon, bringing construction jobs to the area and employment for about 10 permanent slots on the location.

Carbo Ceramics, Inc. has purchased 40-plus acres off the relief route on Highways 281 and 44, across from Strouhal Tire in the 2700 block of Front Street. The company manufactures ceramic proppant and provides services that are used in the hydraulic fracturing of natural gas and oil wells.

"They sell these proppants that are like ceramic beads that are forced down into the wells that prop open the wells to allow to run more freely," said Dean Kruckenberg, executive director for the Economic Development Corporation.

Kruckenberg said the company has a location in San Antonio, but wants the proposed Alice site to target the southern region of the state.

"The significance to the citizens is that Alice is the point of sale," he said. "When the oil companies buy the product, they send the bill to the drilling companies and the city will receive sales tax revenue and the county will benefit from the property and real estate taxes."

Carbo Ceramics, Inc., headquartered in Georgia, provides goods and services through two operating segments: Proppant and Fracture and Reservoir Diagnostics. The company estimates an initial capital investment of $3 million with eight to 10 employees to expand a location to Alice, Kruckenberg said. The company, in a letter to Kruckenberg, estimated the project could be completed by the end of July.

The company's Proppant segment manufactures and sells ceramic proppants. The company's Fracture and Reservoir Diagnostics segment provides fracture mapping and reservoir diagnostic services, sells fracture simulation software and provides engineering services to oil and gas companies worldwide.

During a public hearing at the city council meeting Monday, Kruckenberg commented on using monetary incentives to Carbo Ceramics, Inc. to assist in their efforts to expand their operations into Alice.

Kruckenberg suggested the city and county split an incentive cost of $6,300 to bypass the "tax abatement" process to entice the company to move its site to the outskirts of Alice. Carbo Ceramics Inc. could enter into a contract with the city and county as soon as the entities approve the grant.