BRADENTON, Fla. — The Mississippi Legislature was expected to be in a special session today deciding whether to approve $50 million of bond financing and other incentives for a biofuels company.
Gov. Haley Barbour came under criticism for calling the session last week without releasing details about the project to lawmakers.
Barbour announced at a press conference Thursday that KiOR Inc., a biofuels company headquartered in Pasadena, Tex., would locate five biofuel production facilities in Mississippi.
The company plans to invest more than $500 million in its first three full-scale production facilities and has committed to create at least 1,000 direct and indirect jobs in the state, according to Barbour.
“KiOR will use Mississippi’s abundant, renewable natural resources to create a high-quality crude oil substitute that will help meet our nation’s energy needs, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and create more than 1,000 jobs for Mississippi workers,” he said.
Using a catalytic conversion process, the company plans to convert biomass from a variety of feedstocks, including wood products and agricultural waste, into a high-quality renewable crude oil it calls Re-Crude that can be used as a replacement for imported crude oil.
The company said it would use existing refinery infrastructure to produce transportation fuels at a low cost in an environmentally friendly manner.
Barbour is asking the Legislature to approve $4 million of general obligation bonds for workforce training, $1 million of GOs for research on using biomass in the production of crude oil, and $45 million of GOs to support the KiOR project.
Barbour is also asking the Legislature to approve other incentives, including a sales-tax exemption on materials purchased by the company.
The special session is expected to last one day.