Leaders welcome Genesis Energy in groundbreaking ceremonyPublished 12:01am Saturday, August 25, 2012
NATCHEZ — With the turn of more than a dozen golden shovels in a pile of dirt, Genesis Energy marked the beginning of its expansion at the Natchez-Adams County port that could mean 20 new jobs and 20,000 additional rail cars through the port.
Genesis already owns the Tessendersolo Davison Chemical terminal in the port, and last month announced plans to move dilbit — a bitumen product blended with diluent — from a production site in Canada to the Gulf Coast refining market through the port by rail, where it will be loaded onto barges. The cars will then be reloaded with a diluent and sent back to Canada.
Genesis President Steve Nathanson said the company has operations or is involved in energy sector work in Vicksburg, Liberty and Soso in addition to its Natchez facility.
“We believe Mississippi is a key link in the U.S. Energy equation,” Nathanson said. “I cannot say that strongly or passionately enough.”
Natchez Inc. Chairwoman Sue Stedman said she believes it is important for the residents of Adams County to realize how many operations Genesis has around the country to appreciate what their decision to locate in Natchez means.
Without the port and rail facilities Natchez has, the recruitment of the company would not have been possible, she said.
“You have heard it said that it takes a village to raise a child, and it takes a community to raise an industry,” Stedman said. “You share in the success of having Genesis in the community.”
The new jobs the facility will create will be local hires, Nathanson said, and the company hopes to hire from Mississippi.
The company president also said Genesis is exploring options that may allow the company to hire more people than initially anticipated.
Grace Ann Nathanson, who will head up human resources for Genesis in Natchez, said the company has already been advertising positions to be filled at the facility, and those who wish to apply can do so at the WIN Job Center or at the TDC terminal at the port. The company will start interviews Tuesday.
“We are ready to staff up immediately and have people start as soon as they can,” she said.
Mississippi Development Authority Executive Director Brent Christensen said the Genesis commitment to Adams County shows how rail still plays an important part in industrial development.
“This demonstrates just how large a role our transportation options have to play in industrial recruitment,” Christensen said.
Natchez Mayor Butch Brown expressed appreciation for the amount of rail cars that will be coming into the port by presenting Steve Nathanson with a key to the city.
“Thank you for saving this railroad,” Brown said.
Local economic development officials have previously said that the future of the railroad depended on getting more rail traffic into the area, and that the Genesis agreement met that demand.
As part of the effort to recruit Genesis to the area, the Adams County Board of Supervisors agreed to provide engineering services for the new Genesis terminal, and Adams County Supervisors President Darryl Grennell said the county is appreciative of the company’s decision to locate in Adams County.
“We also appreciate the residents of Adams County for trusting in the elected leadership to recruit new businesses,” he said.
Events such as those at the port Friday are good not only for Adams County, but for the surrounding counties, and could mean even more future growth, U.S. Congressman Gregg Harper said.
“The great thing about this is when you have a commitment like this, it builds and other companies want to find out what is going on here,” Harper said.