Industry news includes the good, bad for area

Published 12:06am Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Adams County received some bad news a few weeks ago when it discovered that alternative fuels producer KiOR was struggling.

The future of its Adams County plans look dim, at least for the foreseeable future.

But fortunately, our economy doesn’t depend upon a single business or industry.

In the last few days, we’ve learned some good news from two area industries that should help offset any potential KiOR’s delays.

On Monday, Houston-based Halcon Field Services announced plans to acquire 50 acres of land at the former International Paper site, also owned by the county.

The company’s $6 million investment in the grand scheme of things may seem small, but it signals a growing interest in the nearby Tuscaloosa Marine Shale oil and gas development.

The company recently reported its well in Wilkinson County was producing more than 1,500 barrels of oil equivalent per day. That’s approximately $150,000 per day at current oil prices. That’s a big “hit” early in the TMS development and one that will certainly attract more attention and investment into our corner of the world.

But it’s not just the oil industry that’s doing well.

The von Drehle company last week confirmed it had ordered a new paper-manufacturing machine for its Natchez location.

The machine will be added to the pulp recycling plant that formerly operated as Mississippi River Pulp. Von Drehle’s investment in Adams County is significant and appreciated.

Natchez-Adams County was too dependent on a handful of industries for far too long, so dependent that when those industries left, we had nothing on which to fall back. Clearly our area’s economic still has much room to grow, but the signs of some early blooms are all around us.