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Taylor County, FL | BioNitrogen Closes on 55-acre Land Deal

  • October 18th, 2014

From Taco Times, October 15, 2014

In a major step in BioNitrogen’s efforts to site a $300 million plant in Taylor County, the company has closed on a 55-acre parcel owned by Foley Timber and Land Co. According to City Manager Bob Brown, the property closed on Monday for approximately $1.3 million, with the funds coming out of the city guaranteed line of credit Tuesday due to the bank being closed Monday for Columbus Day. The property is located on Foley Road (CR 30) across from Georgia-Pacific’s Foley Cellulose Mill. In August, the Taylor County Commission unanimously approved a Future Land Use Map amendment for property applied for by Foley, changing the parcel from the mixed-use rural residential land use category to an industrial land use. The company also purchased two smaller parcels in the Bohannan Subdivision on the opposite side of Eustis Gunter Road from the main site to accommodate a future rail spur, Brown said. The total cost of the two parcels was around $65,000. The land purchases bring the total drawn on the line of credit to around $3.3 million. According to Brown, the majority of the other expenses were environmental studies on the property as well as engineering fees for the design of the plant. BioNitrogen Vice President Ernesto Iznaga on Tuesday called the land purchase a “critical step, but one of many. We’re continuing with all of the engineering work.” According to Iznaga, the company has completed the second of three phases of the engineering, and its contractors are now working to develop “firm fixed pricing” on the plant, which will allow BioNitrogen to enter into an engineering, procurement and construction contract. “As we said at the joint meeting, we’re in the fourth quarter,” he said. Iznaga also noted that his company met with the due-diligence consultant for Deutsche Bank last week and those talks went “very well.” Deutsche Bank is set to purchase $300 million in industry revenue bonds issued by the Taylor County Development Authority (TCDA) once the local project reaches a certain point in its development, at which time the $5 million line of credit would be paid back. Additionally,BioNitrogen and engineering firm AMEC will meet with Duke Energy Thursday to begin laying out power for the plant, he said. The city’s collateral guarantee on BioNitrogen’s $5 million line of credit taken out from Community & Southern Bank in Atlanta, Ga., is part of a comprehensive incentive package offered by the city, county and Taylor County Development Authority. Under an agreement between the city and the company, the city must approve any invoices before a payment is made from the line of credit. According to company officials, BioNitrogen plans to utilize patented technology to convert biomass into urea fertilizer at a series of plants, including the one in Taylor County. The proposed plant is projected to create 52-55 manufacturing jobs in the county with an average starting salary of $38,000 plus benefits. Local economic development officials have estimated the total capital investment here to be between $100 million and $220 million.

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