August 22, 2014 10:36:35 AM
NATCHEZ -- Financially struggling fuel maker KiOR missed a key payment to Adams County this week that would have allowed the company to continue holding onto its undeveloped proposed industrial site in Natchez.
The Natchez Democrat newspaper reports KiOR had a $150,000, six-month contract on the county-owned property, but when the payment was due Tuesday, it was not made.
KiOR announced in mid-2012 plans to build an alternative fuel production facility near the Natchez-Adams County Port, but its plans have since been stalled by technical and financial quagmire at its only full-scale plant in Columbus.
The company built a refinery on The Island to turn wood chips into oil. The plant, however, has not operated this year.
KiOR owes Mississippi $69.4 million. The Mississippi Development Authority has agreed to delay payments until the end of October to give the Texas-based company time to raise new money or sell the company. Investment bank Guggenheim Partners was hired by KiOR to seek a buyer or new investors. KiOR has said Guggenheim should complete its work by Oct. 31,
Two weeks ago, the company warned it would run out of money in September and could face bankruptcy, and the company had multiple rounds of employee layoffs. Last week, there were 14 employees at the Columbus facility.
Dispatch reporter William Browning contributed to this report.
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