Delta Energy to fulfill jobs promise?

Published 12:04 am Saturday, June 24, 2017


NATCHEZ — In an investment expected to bring more than 50 additional jobs to the Miss-Lou, Castleton Commodities International announced this week the company would take a controlling stake in Delta Energy Group Natchez.

Delta Energy is a resource recovery company providing recycling solutions to the tire industry. It is located on Carthage Point Road at the former International Paper mill site.

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“Anytime you can get a company of (Castleton Commodities International’s) caliber to take an interest in Adams County, it is a great thing,” Adams County Board of Supervisors President Mike Lazarus said. “They have holdings all over. We are proud to have them here.”

Delta Energy has developed a proven and patented process to recover carbon black and marketable liquid chemicals from used tires.

Delta Energy Group promised to bring 91 jobs to the community during its first year of operation in 2015, but so far the company has only been employing 37 people.

Delta Energy President and CEO Jeff Flannery said the investment would enable the company to process five million tires a year and employ more than 90 people. Flannery said the process allows the company to produce tires with no emissions or waste.

“Obviously we are happy that these equity investors have come in to give us the ability to complete this plant,” he said. “We believe this is going to be great for Natchez.”

Natchez Inc. Executive Director Chandler Russ said Delta Energy should have no problem hitting their obligation and bringing the community 91 jobs.

“We expect them to meet and exceed those expectations with the project as it continues to ramp up,” Russ said. “This is a significant investment that is going to help them complete and add additional lines and increase their production capabilities significantly.”

Russ would not release how much CCI invested, but said the figure is in the millions. Construction will take place during the next year as the company expands the facility, he said.

“Construction should begin soon, and the best thing for people looking for jobs is to keep an active application through the WIN Job Center,” Russ said.

Flannery said the company would begin limited production this year but plans to go into full production in 2018.

Russ said the company would be requiring potential employees to be WorkKeys certified. More information on WorkKeys is available at the WIN Job Center, and the test is given for free at Copiah-Lincoln Community College.

Russ said he was also excited to have a company such as Castleton Commodities in the area.

“They are basically a group that is buying to grow and will stay through the long term with a project,” Russ said. “You couldn’t have a better partner, especially given the mix of partners with CCI and Bridgestone.”

CCI is taking a majority position in Delta Energy, while Bridgestone Americas, which was disclosed as a major early-stage investor, will continue to be an active but minority investor in this effort to repurpose spent tires and rubber. Outside of the founders, Bridgestone was the first investor into Delta Energy in 2014 under confidential terms. That initial infusion of capital has allowed Delta Energy to prove concepts and attract new investments to accelerate development.

“Bridgestone remains committed to its environmental mission, which includes continually improving natural resource conservation through operational improvements and product design. We supported Delta Energy early due to its potential to develop a process and circular economy market for used tires domestically and internationally,” Bridgestone Americas Chief Operating Officer Bill Thompson said in a statement. “CCI’s investment is validation of the potential for this market and technology and should accelerate development going forward.”

Proceeds from the investment will be used to develop a commercial-scale plant in Natchez with an estimated daily processing capacity of 100 tons of end of use tires. DEG’s commercial plant will recover carbon black and other basic materials for reuse in tire production and other rubber related manufacturing processes, as well as liquid solvents and fuels.

Russ said he would also like to commend the Adams County Supervisors.

“This has been a long 10-month process working with all the parties,” Russ said. “Their patience and being economic-growth minded will produce dividends for our community through this project.”

Flannery said he was happy to have Castleton and Bridgestone on board.

“We have two of the most successful and solid companies behind us,” he said. “We now have all the resources we need to be successful. We are very excited.”