Area may be home to project site

Published 7:07 pm Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A special session called for the end of this week to consider aneconomic incentive package for a biofuels company may involve asite here in Southwest Mississippi.

Speaking to a group of supporters Tuesday night at a fundraiser inBrookhaven, Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant told the group that a “nearby”county would be one of the benefactors of the special session ofthe Legislature.

Bryant said a $50 million dollar incentive package would bepresented to legislators to help attract the company toMississippi. He said the venture was expected to create 1,000 newjobs across the state.

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The lieutenant governor declined to name the site or the companybut others said the site is likely going to be in Franklin Countynear Bude. Apparently, five facilities are planned for differentareas of the state with each site providing approximately 200jobs.

Gov. Haley Barbour made the official call for he special sessionTuesday afternoon. The Legislature will convene on Friday.

The governor is asking the Legislature to consider $45 million inbonds to finance the project along with $4 million for workforcetraining and another $1 million for research at MississippiState.

Bryant said Tuesday night that the funds would not be given to thecompany but would be in the form of a low-interest loan that wouldbe paid back to the state over a period of time.

The biofuels technology plant would use forest byproducts to createthe biofuels product that can be used to create a product that isan additive to crude oil products.

The Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committeeare meeting with the Mississippi Development Authority officialsthis afternoon to review the incentive package before presentationto the House and Senate on Friday.