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Special session to weigh incentives for two projects

JACKSON — During tomorrow’s special session, Mississippi lawmakers will consider incentive packages for two high-tech economic development projects that would create almost 1,800 new jobs in Mississippi, according to the Governor’s Office.

Gov. Haley Barbour will ask legislators to consider a $75-million package to bring Calisolar to Columbus with a private capital investment of at least $600 million and 951 direct full-time jobs with an average annual salary of $45,000 plus benefits. Calisolar’s Columbus facility will produce silicon to be used in a number of industries, including automotive, energy (including solar panels), electronics and consumer industries.

Lawmakers also will consider a $100-million package for HCL CleanTech, which is planning to invest $1 billion to establish the company’s headquarters in Olive Branch, build a small-scale commercial facility and research and development center in Grenada and construct three large-scale commercial plants that the company intends to locate in the Booneville, Hattiesburg and Natchez areas. The company will create 800 jobs with an average salary of $67,000 plus benefits. Later, HCL CleanTech will relocate its existing pilot facility to Mississippi. HCL CleanTech converts biomass to sugars that can be utilized as industrial bioproducts.

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  1. At a time when economy falters projects like these are attractive but in the end cost the taxpayer, and employee who pays taxes. This should not be a bond issuance but a loan guarantee to provide business a loan resource tool to acquire financing.. Mississippi memory isn’t short when Oreck vacuum comes into mind and Viking Range is laying off. “Green” technologies have small markets because demand is low due to cost and alternatives. This is not a good deal for MS unless it is made into a loan, and not publilc offering bond taxpayer obligation.

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