By The Associated Press
COLUMBUS – Lowndes County officials say they have been assured by Silicor that a metal production and purification facility will meet its Dec. 31 start date.
The Commercial Dispatch reports that company officials met this past week with local leaders to discuss progress on the project.
In August, Lowndes County supervisors extended a Sept. 2 starting deadline to Dec. 31. If the start deadline had not been extended, the company could have forfeited $94.25 million in state and local incentives.
State lawmakers in 2011 approved a $75.25 million incentive package for the company, including a $59.5 million equipment and construction loan, $11.25 million for infrastructure and $4.5 million for local work force training. Lowndes County gave an additional $19 million in financial incentives.
Board of Supervisors President Harry Sanders said the meeting went well.
Sanders declined to detail the benchmarks the county expects Silicor to meet each month but said company officials answered all of their questions to their satisfaction and the next meeting is scheduled for mid-November.
“As of right now, everything’s on schedule,” Sanders said. “I think we’re all in good shape.”
The first phase of the project calls for the construction of a silicon metal production facility, operated by Delta Silicon, though that name may change.
The second facility, Silicor Materials, will purify the silicon metal produced by Delta Silicon, transforming it into solar silicon bricks which will then be sliced into thin wafers and used in things like solar panels.
The two facilities will occupy a 258-acre tract of land east of Industrial Park Road.
Based upon the county’s memorandum of understanding with project officials, the entire project is to create 951 full-time jobs – 200 at Delta Silicon and 751 at Silicor Materials.