December 13, 2013 9:51:33 AM
KiOR's plan to build a second refinery in Columbus is closer to being a done deal.
Lowndes County Port Authority director John Hardy said the Texas-based alternative fuel refinery has hired engineering firm Neel-Schaffer to survey some land officials could potentially purchase from the county to locate a second plant.
Hardy said the company has also hired a geotechnical engineering firm to drill about 12 holes 75 feet deep at the site where they're considering building, which is not far from where the existing plant sits on the southern portion of the port's west bank.
"That just tells them what's down there and what kind of foundations they would need for their equipment," Hardy said.
Hardy said he expects the company to report to the port authority board soon to confirm it has reviewed the site and that it meets its needs. He said KiOR officials have expressed interest in an estimated 30 acres, which is more than half of the available acreage remaining on that side of the port.
The Dispatch reported in October that KiOR received $100 million in committed equity financing to go toward what is being called "Columbus II." The financing came from Khosla Ventures, an investment company based in California, and Microsoft chairman Bill Gates.
For more information on the Lowndes County supervisors meeting, see Sunday's edition of The Dispatch.
Nathan Gregory covers city and county government for The Dispatch.
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