Development news keeps on rolling in

Published 12:01 am Sunday, September 4, 2011

Economic development in Southwest Mississippi continues to gain momentum — and, perhaps more important, attention.

After what seems like years and years since a major announcement for our region, in the last year, Southwest Mississippi has received bits of good news.

Almost exactly one year ago, KiOR announced plans to construct three processing plants that will convert timber products into biofuels. One of those plants is slated to be located in Southwest Mississippi.

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In June, Elevance Renewable Sciences purchased the former Delta Biofuels location at the Adams County Port. Elevance will invest $225 million in their facility to produce specialty chemicals from natural oils. The plant will employ approximately 165 people once fully operational.

Last month, Natchez Inc. officials announced a new business coming to the area, Enersteel. The metal fabricator purchased the assets of the former DynaSteel. The new company is set to employ approximately 100 people.

On Friday, state lawmakers passed incentives to lure HCL CleanTech to the state. The company plans to bring four plants — including one in the Natchez area — to process wood products to extract cellulosic sugars to be used in a variety of products.

Although the HCL CleanTech development is probably another year or two from breaking ground, it’s reasonable to think it could bring 150 to 200 jobs to the area.

Each announcement is exciting, and we hope each one lives up to its promises.

Success begets success, and we hope the roll our region appears to be on continues for a long time to come.