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Houston to weather LyondellBasell refinery closure well, expert says

KHOU 11 Energy expert Ed Hirs said some of the refinery's workers could stay on to help remediate the site.

HOUSTON — On Thursday, LyondellBasell announced it plans to close its Houston refinery sometime next year as it exits the refining business.

Mayor Sylvester Turner said Friday he believes the 500-plus employees at LyondellBasell’s Houston refinery will be able to find another job in the energy sector.

"I don’t think they’ll have any problems finding another position within one of the energy companies," Mayor Turner said.

KHOU 11 Energy expert Ed Hirs said some of those workers could stay on to help remediate the site.

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“Overall, Houston’s gonna weather this pretty easily." Hirs said. “A lot of those jobs, folks would be able to move it to other parts of maybe the oil patch, upstream, downstream.”

Mayor Turner also said Houston, the energy capital of the world, is trying to lead in the energy transition.

"Texas leads number one in wind capacity. We are number two in solar capacity," he said. "So I think what you’re just seeing is the evolution that’s taking place within the energy sector.”

Mayor Turner on Friday announced the state has approved the largest urban solar farm in the country on the site of an old landfill in Sunnyside.

KHOU 11 has reached out to LyondellBasell for specifics on what will happen to the 500-plus jobs at the refinery and whether employees will be able to transition to other plants.

We have also reached out to the workers' union with the same questions.

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