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Company leader reports progress in biomass project talks

PORT GIBSON — National Clean Fuels president and chairman Maurice Stone reports that the company’s Mississippi biomass project is progressing as expected after meeting with representatives of the Center for Environment, Commerce & Energy.

Stone met with Center president Norris McDonald, vice president Derry Bigby and consultant John McCormick in Alexandria, Va., Jan. 3. NACF and the Center are working together to build a 10-megawatt biomass-to-electricity (BTE) plant near Port Gibson on the campus of Alcorn State University. The two companies signed a profit agreement in November.

Plans call for the plant to power a massive turbine by gasifying approximately one ton of wood chips and sawdust per hour. Plant construction and engineering services are expected to cost approximately $10 million. Before construction can begin, however, the plant will need a Clean Air Act permit and a Clean Water Act permit. NACF and the Center are also pursuing an electrical-grid interconnection agreement and purchase agreement with the local utility, Southwest Mississippi Electric Power Association.

The two companies hope that the biomass generator will produce an abundance of energy that can be redistributed along the energy grid in Port Gibson and surrounding areas.

“Obtaining the proper permits and purchase agreements is key to making this plant a profitable endeavor for all involved,” Stone said. “I have every confidence that we will achieve these milestones soon and begin planning the plant’s construction in earnest.”

NACF signed a letter of intent with the City of Port Gibson in September to devise plans for biomass and solar-energy production in and around the municipality as well as other potential means of green energy production. The Center signed on to assist with the planning and implementation of the biomass project.

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