Velocys confirms site for its first US biorefinery

Renewable fuels company Velocys has confirmed the location for its first biorefinery in the US. The company has signed a site option agreement with Adams County in the State of Mississippi for the new facility to be built in the city of Natchez.

Adams County has offered Velocys economic incentives estimated to be worth the equivalent of $42 million (€35.8 million). According to a statement announcing the site agreement, the project is expected to qualify for additional incentives worth up to $15 million (€12.7 million), provided via Mississippi’s Advantage Jobs Act and other statutory tax incentives. Apparently, these incentive packages would reduce the company’s future tax liabilities. They are subject to Velocys meeting certain minimum requirements for capital investment and local employment opportunities.

Velocys has also obtained commitments from Adams County worth approximately $4 million (relating to the land and upgrades to the site), and $1 million site upgrade commitments from local utility suppliers, further increasing the attractiveness of the location.

“This is an important step towards the development of our first biorefinery in the US to address the attractive and growing renewable fuels market,” said David Pummell, CEO of Velocys.

“We welcome the significant support for this plant at the local level, including the future financial support that further enhances plant economics. Velocys and its partners are continuing to make significant progress towards completing other work packages needed to deliver a successful USDA loan guarantee application, which we are targeting in 2018. We look forward to updating our stakeholders on the progress of this transformational project in Mississippi.”

The 100-acre site was confirmed after Velocys analysed a broad set of operational and tax considerations at twelve possible sites in four southeastern US states. Visits were carried out at each of the sites, and incentive offers received from each state in question.

According to Velocys, the site analyses will lay the foundation for future biorefineries. Velocys is maintaining its list of potential sites in the region, which could, all combined, host plants with capacities totalling over 100 million gallons over the next ten years. The company is remaining in close contact with the economic development officials in the other states regarding the location and timing of future renewable fuels facilities.

“The Mississippi Development Authority wishes Velocys continued success in their new venture in Natchez and Adams County. With its strategic location and close proximity to a major waterway, Natchez was a natural fit for this proposed capital investment of several hundred million dollars,” said Billy Klauser, chief economic development officer of the Mississippi Development Authority.

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