Silicor project in jeopardy after missed deadline

January 2, 2013 9:28:47 AM

Jeff Clark - [email protected]


Silicor Materials has missed a Dec. 31 deadline to put up $150,000 in earnest money, jeopardizing the two-phase, $600-million project, according to a source close to the project. 


On Dec. 3, the Lowndes County Board of Supervisors gave Silicor officials a Dec. 31 deadline to put up $150,000 in escrow, a move suggested by Golden Triangle Development Link CEO Joe Max Higgins. Higgins brought the recommendation to the board after the company missed its start- up deadline of Sept. 2. Silicor officials said it would not be able to meet a second start-up deadline of Dec. 31. Higgins told the board the silicon manufacturers needed to place $150,000 in escrow in order for the county to hold the land the company had selected for the project.  


Silicor officials were once again vague about the project this morning, re-issuing a statement made earlier in the month that was attributed to Silicor Materials CEO Terry Jester. 


"Silicor Materials thanks everyone who supports our effort to locate our silicon metal and purification project in Mississippi. While it has taken longer than we expected to secure financing in this difficult economic environment, we expect to do so in the coming months. We will continue to work closely with local and state leaders as well as with the Mississippi Development Authority to bring our manufacturing facility and quality jobs to Mississippi," said the statement. 


On Monday, local officials had little or no new information to share. Higgins said via email he had not heard from Silicor officials and a statement would be made through the Link later today. District 1 Supervisor and board president Harry Sanders could not be reached for comment. 


If the project has been shelved, Silicor Materials will lose more than $75 million in incentives from the Mississippi Development Authority and an additional $19 million from Lowndes County. No incentive money has been given to the company. 


In September 2011, California-based silicon company Calisolar announced it would be locating a two-phase project to the industrial park in Lowndes County. The company said it planned to create more than 900 jobs once the second phase was completed. A memorandum of understanding for the two-phase development was drawn up, but was never signed by any of the key players. 


Officials with the project have blamed lack of financing, particularly from European investors, as the reason for the delays with the project.