Local leaders work quickly on Rentech

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 4, 2006

Economic development deals usually happen over a long period of time &8212; even the initial phase in which a city or county woos a company.

But Rentech Inc. moved quickly once it saw potential in Adams County for a coal-to-liquids fuel manufacturing plant, and our local economic development delegation deserves praise for their quick response and action.

Bringing the Rentech deal to fruition is still a long way off, but we appear to have state support for the project, which would be one of the first coal gasification plants of its kind in the nation.

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That would put Natchez and Adams County at the cutting edge of new fuel technology at a time when world events are forcing all of us to rethink energy policy.

Not to mention, Rentech wants to invest $650 million to $750 million in a Natchez plant &8212; a massive investment the likes we haven&8217;t seen since International Paper moved here more than a half-century ago.

If all goes well, by the time production begins Rentech would employ about 200 people &8212; as well as create 1,500 construction jobs over three or four years in our community.

EDA chairman Woody Allen, county attorney Bob Latham and supervisors president Darryl Grennell deserve a pat on the back for their quick action in working with Rentech. We hope this deal means a brighter future for Natchez.