Elevance Renewable to bring 165 jobs

Published 12:54 pm Tuesday, June 7, 2011

NATCHEZ —Elevance Renewable Sciences will begin construction on an Adams County facility in the fourth quarter of this year, creating approximately 300 construction jobs and 165 permanent jobs over the next five years, Gov. Haley Barbour an

Eric Shelton/The Natchez Democrat — Elevance Renewable Sciences CEO K’Lynne Johnson and Gov. Haley Barbour announce plans for a new facility in Natchez.

nounced this afternoon.

The Illinois-based company converts renewable, natural oils into a variety of products including makeup, detergents and plastics. The Natchez jobs will include highly skilled workers and maintenance employees.

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The company has acquired the Delta BioFuels facility at the port and will locate there. Elevance plans to expand the existing 800,000-square-foot refinery.

In next five years the company will invest $225 million in Natchez, Barbour said.

Adams County Board of Supervisors President Darryl Grennell said at Tuesday’s announcement that Adams County and the Adams County Port will invest $6.5 million in infrastructure work at the port for a liquid loading dock to accommodate Elevance. Of that amount, $2 million will come from state grants.

The state is making a $25 million loan to Elevance, Barbour said.

“We want to be part of your success,” Barbour said. “This is good news for all of Southwest Mississippi, not just Natc

Eric Shelton/The Natchez Democrat — Elevance Vice President of Manufacturing John Harvey said he plans to closely supervise construction in Natchez later this year.

hez. Job creation is a team sport, and we’ve got a great team.”

The Adams County Port will be an important part of the project, Barbour said, since feedstock used in the product will come in on the Mississippi River.

Elevance CEO K’Lynne Johnson said the company has had wonderful support from Adams County and Mississippi.

“I want to start off by thanking you. I am amazed by the support and participation you all have shown,” she said.

Johnson then introduced the first Mississippi employees, approximately seven people.

The company currently has a joint venture in Asia, and the Natchez plant will be the first North American facility.

Elevance has bridged renewable energy with petrochemical industry, Johnson said. The core technology behind their product received 2005 Nobel Prize in chemistry.

“Our employees and our customers expect our leadership in customizing the production of renewable products,” she said.

“Today is truly an exciting project, and I look forward to you learning more,” Grennell said. “We truly feel good today.”

Mayor Jake Middleton said he’s proud to have been a small part of project, saying Natchez Inc. and Natchez Now have proven the public and private sectors can work together.

Middleton presented Johnson with a key to the city.

“There is going to be more to come if we’ll keep working together like we did on this,” Barbour said. “In my eight years as governor, the area I have felt like we needed to focus on most has been Southwest Mississippi. The federal prison here and this facility, I just want you to know there are others things we are working on.”