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Companies Explain Why They Chose Mississippi

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 03 Sep 2011 03:12pm | comments
John Cueno with HCL.

Governor Haley Barbour is expected to sign a financial incentive packaged intended to bring two new high tech manufacturing companies are coming to the Magnolia state. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports on why company officials say they choose Mississippi.

The companies, silicone manufacture Calisolar and industrial sugar producer HCL Cleantech, ask for the bonds to bring their operation and potentially 18-jobs to Mississippi.

While addressing the Senate Finance committee HCL Cleantech representative Dennis Cuneo says Mississippi has the trees it uses in making industrial sugars that are used in dozens of products from plastics, fuel and food.

"At the moment, pine chips are the most economical because the infrastructure is in place. The sugars from pine are cheaper than similar sugars from other types of materials. At the moment. But that may change. But we want to use existing infrastructure. Existing shippers. Buy from existing grows and existing loggers," Cuneo said.

 

HCL plans to open several plants in tree rich regions of the state, the large plants will be able to process a million tons of pulp a year.

Recent high profile bankruptcies of several solar panel manufactures had law makers nervous about Calisolar, which provides silicone, in part, to the solar panel industry.

But Calisolar Chairman John Correnti says they can succeed in Mississippi because their silicone goes into a variety of products.

"The steel industry makes steel for the automotive industry. We are going to make silicone up in Lowndes County which will be sold, as Mr. (whit) Hughes said, some of it will go into the solar business. Some of it will go into the aluminum companies. They are going to make wheels, aluminum wheels, out of some of our materials," Correnti said.

Correnti also praised the Mississippi workforce, saying he would rather have a Mississippi farm boy or girl over any other worker.

Governor Haley Barbour pushed hard for the incentive package, saying these are the industries Mississippi should court because they use and improve upon Mississippi's natural resources.

"Adding value to our own feed stock, our own natural resources. And we are doing high end manufacturing with advanced materials," Barbour said.

Company leaders say construction on their new factories should start sometime next year, adding needed construction jobs to the state's down jobs market.

 

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John Cueno with HCL.


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