NATCHEZ — The Adams County Board of Supervisors has offered to extend an option on the former Belwood Country Club property to alternative fuel manufacturer KiOR.
KiOR previously had a contract signed on a 120 acre-tract of the county-owned Belwood property but the option had expired.
Board attorney Scott Slover tells The Natchez Democrat KiOR officials will review the contract before it is finalized.
Natchez Inc. executive director Chandler Russ said some details about the agreement are confidential but he said the county is not holding the property for the company without a cash commitment.
The agreement was discussed in a closed-door session at the supervisors’ meeting yesterday.
The company has reportedly spent approximately $10 million on the Belwood property since announcing in mid-2012 its intention to build a cellulostic fuel facility there.
Plans call for a facility that is larger than KiOR’s current commercial-scale facility in Columbus — which is a converted lumber mill — and is projected to create 320 direct and indirect jobs.
A groundbreaking was originally planned in Natchez for last year but was pushed back as the company continued to refine its processes.
In September, KiOR announced it would, for logistical and infrastructure-sharing reasons, build a second plant in Columbus before commencing work in Natchez, though company officials said the Natchez plant is still in the company’s long-term plans.
In January, KiOR temporarily suspended operations in Columbus. Company officials said at the time the measure was taken in order to optimize the processes at the facility for maximum operations.
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