Biodiesel refinery to build in Aberdeen

BY JEFF CLARK
Monroe Journal

ABERDEEN – After months of speculation, Mayor Jim Ballard announced Thursday that Mississippi Investment Petro-leum Co. will be building a third-generation biodiesel refinery at the Port of Aberdeen. The project, to be completed in three phases, is expected to create 32 new jobs and will bring a $12 million capital investment to the region.

“This is an important announcement for the residents of Aberdeen,” Ballard said. “I’m excited that 32 new jobs are being created for our city and its citizens.”

According to a MIPCO spokesperson, the Port of Aberdeen, located on the Tenn-Tom Waterway, seemed the most logical choice for the facility.

“Aside from the obvious financial and technical evaluations we conducted, we felt the city of Aberdeen would be the most supportive of our efforts moving forward,” the spokesperson said.

The Madison-based company began preparing the site in late 2008, with 90 percent of the U.S. manufactured refinery equipment being custom fabricated for the site. The company, according to a press release, was built in 2008 by petroleum, biodiesel and technology executives to bring new solutions to the current fuel situation. The biodiesel to be produced at the Aberdeen facility will be blended year-round from inexpensive feedstock such as poultry fat.

“Aberdeen has all of the necessary elements to support this type of project,” Ballard said. “MIPCO’s decision to exclusively use Mississippi companies in the consulting, construction and operational phases was key to our support of this venture.

The first phase of the project is expected to be operational by mid-summer, with an initial production of eight million gallons annually. The company hopes to be producing 30 million galons of the fuel by the completion of phase three.

In other Aberdeen industrial news, Gov. Haley Barbour is expected to make an official announcement in Aberdeen on Wednesday of the creation of about 50 additional jobs at Holley Performance.

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