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Gas-to-liquids plant considering Natchez site

NATCHEZ — A natural-gas-to-liquids company announced Tuesday that it is considering a site in the Natchez area for a possible fuel plant.

EmberClear GTL MS has completed a technical feasibility study for a gas-to-liquids project on an 800-acre site along the Mississippi River. A news release from the company said if the project proceeds it will be capable of producing 4,000 tons of methanol per day, or 14,000 barrels of gasoline per day.

Steve Goff, vice president for Gulf Coast development for EmberClear, said the announcement was made as part of full-disclosure rules the company has to follow because it is publicly traded.

“We are looking at the opportunity to be in Natchez, and we think it has all of the proper elements to do a plant of this nature,” Goff said. “We are hopeful that all of our due diligence warrants that we can proceed.”

“A pro-business government, abundant labor force and existing industrial infrastructure makes Adams County an ideal place for a project of this magnitude.”

The company’s chief operating officer, Nick Cohen, said the site the company is looking at is served by American Midstream’s Midla pipeline system, which intersects three interstate gas pipelines, providing the company with the option to source gas from virtually anywhere in Texas and Louisiana, as well as parts of Oklahoma.

While Natchez Inc. Executive Director Chandler Russ said he was not able to comment extensively about the project, he said the tract of land in question is not the former International Paper property, which is currently owned by Rentech, the company that at one time had plans to open a coal-to-oil facility in Natchez before ultimately shelving the project.

Russ said the EmberClear project has the potential to significantly impact the area. However, he said the company is a long way from making a commitment to the area at this time.

“While we are definitely engaged with them, we have a long way to go before we reach something meaningful about this,” Russ said. “We are in the first inning of a nine-inning game.”

EmberClear is an energy development company that specializes in low-emission, commercial scale projects, focusing primarily on creating electricity, industrial chemicals and transportation fuels from natural gas in the United States.