April 16, 2014 9:27:08 AM
Nathan Gregory - [email protected]
Lowndes County supervisors Tuesday granted a 10-year tax exemption to Eka Chemicals for an $11.65 million expansion of its facility off Nashville Ferry Road.
The plant, which has been in operation since the 1950s, produces hydrogen peroxide, sodium chlorate and purate. Sodium chlorate, which has been produced there since 1985, is often used in cleaning agents and the pulp industry as a paper bleaching agent. Manufacturing capabilities for hydrogen peroxide, which is also used in the pulp industry and is also found in detergent, were added to the plant in the 1990s. Purate is a combination of those two and used for water treatment and decontamination.
County tax assessor Greg Andrews said on the estimated $40 million Eka Chemicals has invested in addition and expansion over the last five years, the company will pay $255,118 a year in school taxes including on the expansion discussed Tuesday. Full taxes would add up to $553,359 annually, he said.
Supervisors approved a similar 10-year exemption in January 2010 on $17.25 million in expansion.
The expansion supervisors approved the exemption for Tuesday took place last year and includes replacements of filters, coolers and feed lines as well as compressor and site security upgrades.
Eka representative Travis Tumberlinson said the upgrades won't add any new jobs immediately but will improve the plant's efficiency, which may result in future job openings. The plant currently has about 100 employees, he said.
Nathan Gregory covers city and county government for The Dispatch.