A public meeting was held last week in Winston County to discuss the possibility of an oil refinery being built there.
Philadelphia mayor James A. Young, who serves as president of SNC Energy, the company behind the proposal, said the refinery is in the initial planning stages.
Young said SNC has begun the process of conducting a feasibility study. “I tell people all the time it costs nothing to look,” he said in a phone interview Wednesday morning. “They think they want to put it there if the feasibility study goes well.”
The Neshoba Democrat (story here) first reported news of the project, which carries ambitious job-creation numbers: 5,000 employed by the time the refinery opens in 2014.
A website for SNC Energy only listed an email address. Officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
One of the refinery’s investors is Winston County native Milton Hughes, who owns a California-based credit card processing company.
The refinery would not be a drilling operation, but would rely on existing pipelines to pump oil to the facility. The permitting process for refineries can stretch for decades, and is a big reason why one has not been built in the U.S. since the 1970s.
The CEO of Safeguard Consulting, to whom Young referred questions about specific project details, did not immediately return a cell phone message seeking comment.