Gov. Haley Barbour joined executives from KiOR and state and local officials today for a groundbreaking ceremony at the site of KiOR's first commercial biofuel production facility in Columbus. The company announced in August 2010 it would locate five biofuel production facilities throughout Mississippi, a company investment of $500 million that will create at least 1,000 direct and indirect jobs in the state.
"Starting right here in Columbus, KiOR will use our state's abundant timber resources to help meet our country’s energy needs and create thousands of jobs for Mississippians," Gov. Barbour said. "I am pleased to be here with Fred Cannon and the KiOR team to celebrate this exciting milestone, and I am grateful to KiOR for its significant investment in Mississippi's workforce and in rural communities around the state."
"KiOR is grateful for all the support we have received from every level of government in Mississippi and we’re excited to call Columbus home to our first commercial production facility," said Fred Cannon, President and CEO of KiOR. "The homegrown fuels produced in Columbus will create jobs that cannot be exported and begin to offer the American people a competitive alternative to fuels derived from overseas petroleum."
KiOR's proprietary technology platform can create its blendstocks from a variety of biomass, including wood and agricultural waste. These fuel blendstocks can utilize the existing transportation infrastructure and can be mixed with conventional fossil fuel blendstocks and used in vehicles on the road today.
The Columbus facility, which is scheduled to commence production in the second half of 2012, is designed to process approximately 500 bone dry tons of wood per day and is expected to produce 11 million gallons of renewable fuel blendstocks annually. The company has already announced three offtake agreements with Hunt Refining Company, FedEx Corporate Services and Catchlight Energy LLC, a 50-50 joint venture between subsidiaries of Chevron Corporation and Weyerhaeuser Company, to purchase fuel blendstocks from the Columbus plant.
"Today is an exciting day for Columbus as KiOR takes a critical step toward beginning production of its renewable fuel blendstocks. The company is creating one thousand jobs for workers in Mississippi, including hundreds at this facility, and has committed to purchasing millions of dollars worth of feedstock from our state's foresters and farmers," said Leland Speed, executive director of the Mississippi Development Authority. "With our state's natural resources and dedicated workforce, we were a natural fit for KiOR's first commercial-scale production facilities, and we were pleased to work with the company on this project."
KiOR has also announced plans to locate a facility in Newton, Miss., and one in southwest Mississippi. The specific sites of the other two facilities have not yet been determined.
KiOR was founded in 2007. The company is led by a team with extensive experience in catalysis, oil refining and wood procurement. KiOR maintains a demonstration and pilot plant, along with a research and development facility, in Pasadena, Texas.
For more information about the company, please visit its website at www.kior.com.
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