Longview, TX — While people in New London eagerly await construction of a new refinery that promises to breathe life into the Rusk County economy, just west of downtown Longview an aging, idled refinery owned by the same company has become a source of controversy.
In operation from 1935 to 1992, the Longview Refinery on Premier Road is either a toxic nightmare or a missed opportunity — it depends on who is talking.
People in Rusk County have called Gregg County Refining’s planned $276 million facility a “godsend.” Refinery executives expect the construction project, to be carried out over two years on 165 acres of land outside New London, will create about 400 jobs.
They expect to employ about 85 full-time, permanent workers once the refinery is operational. But owner Ken Williams said rather than taking refinery components from the Longview site to Rusk County, it would have made more economic sense to refurbish and restart the existing refinery. That is what he intended in 2006 when he bought the property for taxes owed by the previous owner, Longview Refining Associates.