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George County secures US$1.4M grant towards Enviva's Lucedale pellet plant

The United States (US) Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross has announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a US$1.4 million grant to the George County Board of Supervisors, Lucedale, Mississippi, to make critical infrastructure improvements to the George County Industrial Park.

On June 20, 2019 Assistant Secretary Dr John C. Fleming announced U$1.4 million Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant to the George County Board of Supervisors, Lucedale, Mississippi, to make critical infrastructure improvements to the George County Industrial Park where Enviva plans to build its Lucedale wood pellet plant (photo courtesy EDA).

On June 20, 2019 Assistant Secretary Dr John C. Fleming announced U$1.4 million Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant to the George County Board of Supervisors, Lucedale, Mississippi, to make critical infrastructure improvements to the George County Industrial Park where Enviva plans to build its Lucedale wood pellet plant (photo courtesy EDA).

The improved industrial site will accommodate local business needs, including the development of a wood pellet plant that will produce over 1.4 million tonnes of pellets annually, primarily for export to the UK and other European countries. According to grantee estimates, the project is expected to create 90 jobs.

Since day one, the Trump Administration has worked hard to revitalize the manufacturing industry in the United States. This investment in infrastructure for the George County Industrial Park will help grow the U.S. economy and support America’s exporter said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross in a statement.

The project will fund roadway, water and wastewater improvements for the George County Industrial Park to support the wood pellet plant and other businesses. This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Southern Mississippi Planning and Development District.

This grant is crucial for Enviva and George County. EDA’s investment in this project will further strengthen Mississippi’s status as a leader in economic development. I am grateful for Secretary Ross and his team for their continued support, said Governor Bryant.

Pellet plant a win for the region

Mississippi is blessed with a strong industrial base and local leaders who are committed to advancing the economic prospects of our state. This investment from the Economic Development Administration will help George County transform forestry resources into industrial growth and jobs for the region said Senator Wicker.

EDA funds the Southern Mississippi Planning and Development District to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs.

I commend George County for working to improve its economy. These EDA resources will help ensure the appropriate infrastructure is in place to support jobs and manufacturing. The new pellet plant is a win for this rural region and for the Mississippi forestry industry. As I’ve said before, our forestry industry prides itself on being able to use every part of every harvested tree. In this case, meeting the demand for wood fiber will mean more jobs and investment in South Mississippi, said US Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.).

This project is funded under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (PL 115-123), in which Congress appropriated to EDA US$600 million in additional Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program funds for disaster relief and recovery as a result of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, wildfires and other calendar year 2017 natural disasters under the Stafford Act.

This grant will support the continued development of George County’s Industrial Park by investing in infrastructure to increase wood pellet production and bringing jobs to Mississippi, The wood pellet plant represents a long term commitment to both the community and economy of the region. I am glad to know the President and his Administration also remain committed to revitalizing American manufacturing and growing our state’s economy, said Congressman Steven Palazzo, (R-Miss.)

About US EDA

The mission United States (US) Economic Development Administration is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy.

An agency within the US Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for American workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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