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Press Release

Element Fuels Announces Completion of Site Preparation and Pre-Construction for Hydrogen-Powered Clean Fuels Refinery and Combined-Cycle Power Plant

Published by Todd Bush on June 7, 2024

Located within the Port of Brownsville, the complex is designed to exclusively process domestic high gravity shale oil into high-octane, low-carbon fuels and low-carbon hydrogen, produce reliable electricity, and boost the South Texas economy with above market wage jobs, training, and workforce development.

HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Element Fuels Holdings, LLC, a company founded to develop and operate scalable, next-generation clean fuels production, has completed site preparation and pre-construction on a new hydrogen-powered refinery and combined-cycle power plant within the Port of Brownsville, Texas. The Element complex is innovatively designed to produce and recycle hydrogen using advanced technologies that will generate and deliver significantly cleaner, higher-quality fuels, including much-needed high-octane gasoline and electricity for commercial and consumer consumption.

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“Element Fuels has received the necessary permitting to construct and operate a refinery capable of producing in excess of 160,000 barrels, or approximately 6.7 million gallons, per day of finished gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel,” said Founder and Co-CEO John Calce. “A permit for a greenfield refinery of this size, scope, and functionality has not been granted in the United States since the 1970’s. This speaks to the innovative approaches we are taking to address climate and sustainability concerns in cleaner, greener ways that are new to the refinery space.”

Expected to be operational in 2027, Element Fuels’ first-of-its-kind refinery combines advanced, commercially proven technologies, provided by best-in-class partners. Designed to process exclusively high gravity domestic shale oil, the refinery will produce low-carbon intensity fuels that will materially reduce carbon emissions.

The facility will also produce enough low-carbon hydrogen to supply approximately 100% of the refinery’s fuel requirements, essentially eliminating CO2 emissions. Hydrogen produced in excess of the refinery’s needs will be used to generate low carbon, utility-scale electricity from Element’s hydrogen-capable combined-cycle gas turbine power plant. Over 100 MW of excess electricity generated from Element’s power plant will be made available to the Energy Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) to reliably support the surrounding community’s needs. The facility is an industry-first example of a sustainable economy and represents a significant step forward for the fossil to renewable and lower-carbon energy transition.

Of the new refinery construction, Calce said, “Element Fuels is not only ushering in the next generation of clean fuels, we’re also proving that, without a doubt, there is a way to produce higher quality, cleaner, higher-octane fuels that significantly advance the energy transition. This changes everything – for the industry, for consumers, and for the well-being of the planet.”

The Element complex is being built on more than 240 acres within the Port of Brownsville, a deepwater port in South Texas that has become an emerging, strategic location for the movement of bulk petroleum and refined products, natural gas liquids, and other specialized bulk liquid commodities. The complex will increase the economy and improve quality of life for workforce members and their families by creating hundreds of jobs at above-market wages. To further support the region, Element Fuels is working with local and Port officials to advance the Justice40 initiative established by the U.S. Department of Commerce to contribute to a climate-positive environment that provides residents of the Brownsville area and Rio Grande Valley with clean energy and affordable and sustainable housing.

Element Fuels has contracted with McDermott, to provide front-end engineering design services for the facility, including offsites and utilities.

“Building on our successful collaboration during early project phases, we believe we are uniquely positioned to leverage our expertise and knowledge to further support Element Fuels throughout the next stages of this unique project,” said Rob Shaul, Senior Vice President, Low Carbon Solutions, McDermott. “We remain focused on the delivery of low carbon pathway projects and are committed to advancing the landscape of energy production.”

Element Fuels is led by a world-class management team comprised of industry veterans who have successfully engineered, developed, and managed over $500 billion of complex capital projects. Together, the team has more than a century of energy and petrochemicals leadership. To learn more about the team, please visit

About Element Fuels

Element Fuels is a clean fuels producer advancing the energy transition through the development of a new hydrogen-powered clean fuels refinery in Brownsville, Texas. In development and planned to be operational in 2027, the Element complex in Brownsville will produce the cleanest fossil-based fuels in the United States, with near-zero CO2 emissions, utilizing the latest advanced technology from proven, best-in-class partners. Powered by world-class management and technology teams comprised of energy industry veterans, Element Fuels is setting a new standard for clean, green fuels production. To learn more, visit

About McDermott

McDermott is a premier, fully-integrated provider of engineering and construction solutions to the energy industry. Our customers trust our technology-driven approach engineered to responsibly harness and transform global energy resources into the products the world needs. From concept to decommissioning, McDermott's innovative expertise and capabilities advance the next generation of global energy infrastructure—empowering a brighter, more sustainable future for us all. Operating in over 54 countries, McDermott's locally-focused and globally-integrated resources include more than 30,000 employees, a diversified fleet of specialty marine construction vessels and fabrication facilities around the world. To learn more, visit

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