March 25, 2014 10:19:39 AM
On Monday, Mississippi Northern District Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley ruled in favor of 4-County Electric Power Association's request to construct a new electric substation to serve the future Yokohama Tire Company plant in Clay County.
Approval on the $2.3 million project will be official after a 14-day public review period. Yokohama will pay for the substation and any subsequent upgrades through its rates. The substation will have an initial capacity of 18 megawatts. It is scheduled to be fully operational by July 1.
Presley said the new substation is a need to serve the new plant set to open next October. The substation will prevent interruption of service to other customers.
4-County CEO Joe Cade said the utility provider was "excited" about the opportunity to serve the plant.
"This substation will help us provide the best in reliability and service to them," Cade said. "4-County is proud to be a part of the economic development engine in our service territory."
"The amount of electric service for Yokohama necessitated a new substation to get electricity to the plant without services being interrupted," Presley said. "A big part of economic growth is infrastructure growth. This is part of the growth of Clay County due to this industry."
The first of the four-phase facility will bring with it 500 jobs when it opens. Yokohama will spend $300 million on top of $70 million in state general obligation bonds to finance construction of the plant on East Hazelwood Road. Additional phases slated for completion in 2017, 2019 and 2023 will also bring 500 jobs each.
Construction on Yokohama Boulevard, which will enter into the plant site from Highway 45 Alternate and Barton Ferry Road, is ongoing and scheduled for completion at the end of this year.
Nathan Gregory covers city and county government for The Dispatch.
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