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Taylor County, Florida | Perry News-Herald

  • September 12th, 2014

BioNitrogen, city close to deal on $220 million plant

From Perry News-Herald, September 12, 2014

Efforts by the Taylor County Commission, Perry City Council and Taylor County Development Authority to entice the West Palm Beach-based BioNitrogen to build a multi-million dollar plant in Taylor County have seemingly paid off, with company officials announcing this week they hope to hold a ribbon cutting ceremony at their proposed building site here within the next 30 days.

The City of Perry and BioNitrogen are very close to finalizing an agreement under which the city will provide collateral guaranty on a $5 million line of credit taken out by the company for work on a proposed plant here.

Company officials said this week they expect the document to be signed within days and City Finance Director Penny Staffney said attorneys on both sides have approved the agreement’s language.

BioNitrogen President and Chief Financial Officer Bryan B. Kornegay Jr. said that once the agreement is signed, they are prepared to begin work on the project with the goal of “moving dirt” by the end of the year at the site, located on Foley Road (CR 30) across from Georgia-Pacific’s Foley Cellulose Mill.

He added that environmental studies have been completed on the property and they have an agreement in place to purchase the 55-acre parcel from Foley Timber and Land Co.

“We’re excited about the support we’ve received from the area,” Kornegay said. “We have been welcomed with open arms.

Some of the first work will be on the company’s site plan for the property, which will be developed using its existing plan for its proposed plant at Clewiston in Hendry County.

While there has already been a groundbreaking ceremony held at the proposed site in Hendry County, Kornegay said that environmental issues were discovered with the property there, forcing them to begin anew with an environmental survey on a different parcel.

“Taylor could get in front of Hendry County now,” he said.

Kornegay also said the company will determining which structures on the Taylor property will need to be demolished to make way for the future plant.

“We will begin laying out a 90-day plan so we’re accounting for all of the pieces from a civil engineering standpoint for demolition and applying for the permits as needed.”
Although a date has not yet been set for the ribbon cutting ceremony, Kornegay said they hope to have a separate groundbreaking event later in the year when they have all of the permits pulled and ready.

Last month, the Perry City Council unanimously approved an ordinance which allows the city to enter into the collateral guarantee agreement with BioNitrogen, whose proposed plant is projected to create 52-55 manufacturing jobs in the county with an average starting salary of $38,000 plus benefits. The total investment here has been estimated to be between $100 million and $220 million.

According to company officials, Deutsche Bank is prepared to purchase a series of industry revenue bonds issued by the Taylor County Development Authority (TCDA) once the local project reaches a certain point in its development.

The city-guaranteed line of credit is expected to provide financial assistance up to that point, with funding for civil engineering work, traffic studies and other site specific work at the property.

City Manager Bob Brown said the company will turn in invoices which would have to be approved by the city before payment is made through the line of credit. The funds will only be available for site work connected to the proposed Perry site.

According to company officials, BioNitrogen plans to utilize patented technology to convert biomass into urea fertilizer at a series of plants, including the one planned for Taylor County.


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