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Houston Methodist reveals details of new $1.4B tower

A new 26-floor tower is expected to rise in the Texas Medical Center and deliver in 2027. Rendering courtesy of Houston Methodist

Construction has begun on a $1.4 billion hospital tower at the Texas Medical Center.

Houston Methodist’s 26-story Centennial Tower will be connected to the Paula and Joseph C. “Rusty” Walter III Tower, which opened in 2018. Among other things, the new tower will feature a larger emergency department and hundreds of patient beds. It’s scheduled to open in 2027.

“Together, the towers will add an impressive profile to the Texas Medical Center skyline,” says Dr. Marc Boom, president and CEO of Houston Methodist. “We are building this for our community, showing our commitment to the future of health care at Houston Methodist as we continue leading medicine for decades to come.”

The new tower will connect to the Paula and Joseph C. “Rusty” Walter III Tower, which opened in 2018. Rendering courtesy of Houston Methodist

Highlights of Centennial Tower include:

  • A new emergency department with 54 beds and additional suites.
  • Nearly 400 patient beds, including 175 new beds and 207 beds to replace those in Houston Methodist’s Main building. That building and the West Pavilion eventually will be torn down.
  • New space for transplant medicine, intermediate care, and surgical intensive care.
  • Nine operating rooms, including two new operating rooms.
  • A 14th-floor rooftop garden.

The adjacent Paula and Joseph C. “Rusty” Walter III Tower houses the Houston Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center and the Houston Methodist Neurological Institute.

Albany, New York-based design firm EYP is Centennial Tower’s architect, and Houston-based Vaughn Construction is the general contractor.

Centennial Tower’s 14th floor will feature an outdoor rooftop garden. Rendering courtesy of Houston Methodist

EYP recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. In connection with the voluntary bankruptcy filing, Tampa, Florida-based Ault Alliance has agreed to buy the majority of EYP’s assets (including customer contracts) for $67.7 million, plus the assumption of “significant” liabilities. Ault plans to retain EYP’s staff. If the deal goes through, EYP would operate under its current brand name.

“EYP is a good candidate to use the protections that a Chapter 11 process provides,” says Kefalari Maso, interim CEO of EYP. “Our business is as strong as it has ever been, and the advantages … are that it allows us to continue doing the work we love while quickly moving through a sale process that further strengthens our financial position, allowing us to shape a future that matches our success over the last few years.”

The tower's plans include a new emergency department with 54 beds and additional suites. Rendering courtesy of Houston Methodist

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Cemvita reported a successful pilot program on its gold hydrogen project in the Permian Basin. Photo courtesy of Cemvita

Houston-based cleantech startup Cemvita Factory is kicking things into high gear with its Gold Hydrogen product.

After successfully completing a pilot test of Gold Hydrogen in the oil-rich Permian Basin of West Texas, Cemvita has raised an undisclosed amount of funding through its new Gold H2 LLC spin-out. The lead investors are Georgia-based equipment manufacturer Chart Industries and 8090 Industries, an investment consortium with offices in New York City and Los Angeles.

Gold Hydrogen provides carbon-neutral hydrogen obtained from depleted oil and gas wells. This is achieved through bioengineering subsurface microbes in the wells to consume carbon and generate clean hydrogen.

Cemvita says it set up Gold H2 to commercialize the business via licensing, joint ventures, and outright ownership of hydrogen assets.

“We have incredible conviction in next-generation clean hydrogen production methods that leverage the vast and sprawling existing infrastructure and know-how of the oil and gas industry,” Rayyan Islam, co-founder and general partner of 8090 Industries, says in a news release.

Traditional methods of producing hydrogen without greenhouse gas emissions include electrolysis powered by renewable sources like wind, solar or water, according to Cemvita. However, production of green hydrogen through normal avenues eats up a lot of energy and money, the startup says.

By contrast, Cemvita relies on depleted oil and gas wells to cheaply produce carbon-free hydrogen.

“The commercialization and economics of the hydrogen economy will require technologies that produce the hydrogen molecule at a meaningful scale with no carbon emissions. Gold H2 is leading the charge … ,” says Jill Evanko, president and CEO of Chart Industries.

Investors in Cemvita include Oxy Low Carbon Ventures, an investment arm of Houston-based Occidental Petroleum, as well as BHP Group, Mitsubishi, and United Airlines Ventures.

Oxy Low Carbon Ventures and United Airlines Ventures are financing Cemvita’s work on sustainable jet fuel. United Airlines operates a hub at George Bush Intercontinental Airport Houston.

Founded by brother-and-sister team Moji and Tara Karimi in 2017, Cemvita uses synthetic biology to turn carbon dioxide into chemicals and alternative fuels.

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