Project will allow the recycling and conversion of 60% of Three Rivers region’s waste material.
By Mack Spencer
PONTOTOC – Enerkem Inc., a leading advanced biofuels and green chemicals technology company, today announced its plans to build and operate a second-generation biofuels production facility here.
In addition, the company announced the signature of a Memorandum of Intent with the Three Rivers Solid Waste Management Authority of Mississippi (TRSWMA) for the supply of approximately 189,000 tons of unsorted municipal solid waste (MSW) per year for use as feedstock at the Pontotoc facility.
Plans call for the plant to be built, owned and operated by Enerkem Mississippi Biofuels, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Enerkem. It is expected to produce 20 million gallons per year of next-generation ethanol using a mix of feedstock comprised of wood residues from regional forest and agricultural operations, as well as urban biomass such as municipal solid waste, construction and demolition debris, and treated wood.
In addition to the biofuels production facility, the investment includes an upstream municipal solid waste recycling and pre-treatment center. The total project represents a $250 million investment. The Enerkem process will recycle and convert approximately 60 percent of the MSW that crosses the gate at the Three Rivers landfill. The majority of the MSW will be converted into biofuels and the rest will be distributed to recycling processors.
The overall project is expected to create 150 long-term direct and indirect jobs, and to generate an additional 300 jobs during the construction and start-up phases.
Enerkem is working closely with the Three Rivers Planning and Development District, which is responsible for the administration of the Three Rivers Solid Waste Management Authority landfill site, where the facility would be located. Enerkem and TRSWMA have signed a Memorandum of Intent and are in the process of negotiating final financial and binding agreements.
The company is also developing strong ties with local organizations and associations including Mississippi State University, which will be collaborating on future Ramp&D efforts with Enerkem, the Mississippi Loggers Association, the Mississippi Development Authority and the Mississippi Technology Alliance.
“We are very excited by this project as it will create green jobs, contribute to the rural economy in northern Mississippi and give us the opportunity to become an important player in the next-generation biofuels industry, while enabling the local governments of the Three Rivers region to provide major recycling at no additional cost to its citizens,” said Randy Kelley, Executive Director of the Three Rivers Planning and Development District.