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All quiet as Silicor deadline approaches


Jeff Clark



As the eleventh hour approaches, Lowndes County officials are still in the dark when it comes to Mississippi Silicon (Silicor Materials) and the company's intentions to build a facility in the area.  


On Dec. 3, Golden Triangle Development Link CEO Joe Higgins and the Lowndes County Board of Supervisors gave the company a deadline of midnight, Dec. 31 to place $150,000 in escrow for the land it wants for the site or lose the $19 million in incentives from the board of supervisors. The company has also been promised an additional $74 million from the Mississippi Development Authority. 


Although the deadline is five days away, neither Silicor nor county officials have offered any insight into the state of the project. 


"I don't see why they wouldn't do this," District 1 Supervisor and board president Harry Sanders said Wednesday. "These are some big-time investors and this is a big project. I don't think this is too much to ask." 


Sanders said he had not had any discussions with representatives from the company since November. 


A Silicor spokesperson did not return messages about the company's status Wednesday. Higgins said he would not make a statement until after Jan. 1 


The long-running saga began more than a year ago when what was then Calisolar announced it was going to locate in Columbus with a two-phase development.  


The announcement came shortly after the company pulled out of an agreement to build in Ontario, Ohio, a deal that included almost $400-million in incentives.  


The company then changed its name to Silicor Materials. Although the first phase of the company, a silicon metals production plant, was changed to Mississippi Silicon or Delta Silicon, Silicor Materials' website says it plans two distinct operations: 


"We have selected Mississippi in the southeastern United States as the location for our next manufacturing facility,'' the website states. "It will produce both solar silicon for PV applications, as well as the metallurgical-grade silicon that becomes purified into solar silicon."




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