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$1.1 million in funds raised for Genesis Energy not used

NATCHEZ — Local economic development authorities were able to secure $1.1 million in grants and rail loans as part of a package to entice Genesis Energy to locate their new loading and unloading terminal in Natchez last year, but in the end that money wasn’t needed.

Genesis, which has partnered with Southern Pacific Resource Corporation to move bitumen products mined from Canadian oil sands through the Natchez-Adams County Port, opened its terminal in the port earlier this year and has already received loaded rail cars.

The Genesis terminal is located at the former Tessenderlo-Davison Chemical location, which Genesis already owned. To be able to move the oil products through the port, the property needed upgrades, and the county secured a $400,000 community development block grant and a $700,000 rail loan from the Mississippi Development Authority to finance the needed construction.

When it came time for Genesis to start work at the site, however, those funds weren’t utilized. Natchez Inc. Executive Director Chandler Russ said that decision was based in part on the issue of timeliness.

“They chose not to take advantage of the incentive package mainly because they were worried about having to go through public bid laws, and that is just a little more time consuming than them doing it themselves,” Russ said. “They just ate the costs themselves.”

Adams County Board of Supervisors President Darryl Grennell said the company not taking the grant or loan funds means those monies are free for other MDA projects.

“If the company decided not to take the incentive packet, it is a savings for the taxpayers of the state of Mississippi, and that money can be used for projects in Adams County or in other parts of the state,” Grennell said.

The company not utilizing the grant and loan portion of the incentive package means that the county’s contribution to the project is now just a tax abatement, which essentially cuts the company’s taxes in half, Russ said.

The oil product Genesis is receiving from Canada is dilbit, a product produced by blending bitumen and diluent together. The dilbit is transported to the Gulf Coast refinery market, and the cars used to transport it are reloaded to take diluent to Canada.

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