Officials from Green Circle Bio Energy said the company is locating an energy wood pellet manufacturing facility in the George County Industrial Park. The project represents a company investment of $115 million and will create 126 jobs with the potential of up to 141.
The majority of the project’s jobs will be at the George County facility with the remainder being at the Port of Pascagoula. Additional temporary jobs will also be created during plant construction.
The facility is expected to be operational by spring 2015 and will produce wood pellets for shipment from the Port of Pascagoula to European markets to be sold to electric generating facilities as a renewable alternative to coal. Initially, the plant will have the capacity to produce 500,000 tons of wood pellets per year.
“Green Circle’s decision to locate these operations in George County is great news for the entire state, and I am proud to welcome the company as the newest member of Mississippi’s business community,” Gov. Phil Bryant said. “I appreciate the Green Circle team for placing their confidence in our supportive business climate, investing in our state and creating these job opportunities for the residents of south Mississippi. I wish the company many years of success in Lucedale.”
“We are looking forward to being a part of George County and its future economic growth. The Industrial Park is the ideal location for our expansion. It’s inside a large wood basket area, and it’s close to the Port of Pascagoula, which will export the wood pellets,” said Morten Neraas, CEO of Green Circle Bio Energy. “Our relationships with the Board of Supervisors and the Port of Pascagoula led us to George County.”
The Mississippi Development Authority provided assistance in support of the project for infrastructure needs at the project site. George County provided assistance for the project, as well.
“Mississippi has an abundance of natural resources that attract companies such as Green Circle Bio Energy to the state, and MDA is proud to welcome this great company to George County,” said MDA Executive Director Brent Christensen. “We are grateful to the George County Board of Supervisors, the City of Lucedale, the Southern Planning and Development District and our utility partners who worked so diligently to bring Green Circle to Mississippi.”
Headquartered in Cottondale, Fla., Green Circle Bio Energy produces biomass-based renewable energy. The company operates in an international market for carbon neutral energy. The company’s wood pellets are grown in sustainable forests in the Southeastern U.S.