Construction projects worth hundreds of millions of dollars are common on ENR’s Texas/Louisiana Top Starts list this year—with the top four ranked projects valued above $1 billion each. The trend is not surprising, with liquefied natural gas megaprojects, large housing developments and renewable energy expansion taking root in the region.

The construction projects listed are being built across the five-state region of Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Mississippi. The top 50 projects are worth approximately $50 billion this year.

The Lone Star state by far leads the pack, seeing a big increase in energy-generating projects and housing to meet the massive migration to the state. More than 473,000 people transplanted to Texas in 2023, which is nearly 40,000 people per month, according to U.S. Census data.

The top two projects are linked to LNG export terminal construction. The Rio Grande LNG Phase 1 project in Brownsville, Texas, being developed by NextDecade and built by Bechtel, leads the list, with ConocoPhillips’ Port Arthur LNG project ranked second. While those project owners and general contractors did not provide dollar amounts for the Top Starts list, ENR confirmed that each hovers at about $10 billion or more.

The Golden Triangle Polymer project in Orange, Texas, ranks at No. 3, with a project cost of about $8.5 billion. The owner is Orange Triangle Polymers Co. LLC, with PCL Industrial Construction Co. heading construction. Work started in March 2023 and project completion is expected in March 2026.

272-MW Cutlass II solar energy project

The large Grand Prairie residential community in Hockley, Texas, which features a 6,700-sq-ft open air pavilion as part of its many recreational offerings, was ranked No. 7.
Rendering courtesy Grand Prairie

The list also includes more than a dozen renewable energy projects that broke ground in 2023—including the $750-million, 730-MW Magnolia Power/Kindle Energy generating facility in Louisiana and solar farms in that state and Texas, Arkansas also saw the start of the 250-MW Entergy Arkansas Driver solar project in Osceola. The $327-million project is expected to be completed in 2024.

There is a smattering of infrastructure projects on the list as well. The multibillion-dollar, multiyear I-35 Capital Expressway project to rebuild a major transportation route through Austin is among those included. The $607-million-plus Texas Dept. of Transportation project started in March 2023 and is slated for completion in the summer of 2028.

Office and residential projects are also prominent on the Top Starts list this year. More than half a dozen housing developments appear on the list, with market sector growth centered around Austin, San Antonio, Houston and the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, according to Dodge data.

Massive amounts of dollars are being spent on construction in the five-state region. Of 128 project starts listed by Dodge Data & Analytics, 70 are worth $200 million or more. Industry insiders told ENR that they expect the trend for large projects to continue as more people move to Texas every year.