Power plant could bring 50 jobs to area

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 30, 2006

NATCHEZ &8212; A wood-fired power plant planning to locate at the former International Paper mill site could employ up to 50 people.

Georgia-based Silvan Power LLC still has 2 1/2 months to perform a review of the site.

&8220;The exact acreage we would take up hasn&8217;t been worked out yet,&8221; said Frank K. Peeples, of Silvan.

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Plans are for an 80-megawatt plant.

Depending on whether Silvan&8217;s own employees will be the ones to unload the wood waste that would be shipped by barge to the site, &8220;the number of jobs could be in the 50s,&8221; Peeples said.

The Adams County venture would be first location for the company, which was incorporated in Savannah, Ga. in October 2004.

Silvan intends to build plants at other sites, Peeples said, adding that &8220;I&8217;m not at liberty to say where just yet.&8221;

Peeples, principal of Silvan, said he first became aware of the availability of the Natchez IP site through IP itself.

IP is a longtime customer of Peeples International, a Savannah-based company specializing in marine terminal services and ship loading and unloading, of which Peeples is CEO.

Adams County officials said last week they intend to ask for the state&8217;s approval to modify its solid waste plan, allowing Triad Disposal&8217;s Class I rubbish site to accept debris from throughout the state.

The county also plans to ask the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality for permission to build a transfer station at the Natchez-Adams Port to handle the debris.

However, county supervisors President Darryl Grennell said most of the wood waste would be burned at the Silvan site, which Peeples said would burn about 1 million tons of wood waste a year.

As it now stands, Triad&8217;s waste site on Old U.S. Highway 84 No. 3 is only permitted to receive Class I rubbish &8212;construction debris, wood and concrete, minus asbestos and most of the metal &8212; from several surrounding counties and parishes only.

Robbie Wilbur, communications director for MDEQ, said Monday that agency has not yet received from Adams County a request to amend its solid waste plan.

&8220;We probably wouldn&8217;t receive that until after the public hearing,&8221; Wilbur said.

A public hearing on the application is set for 10 a.m. April 17 at the Board of Supervisors office on State Street.