JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Texas-based company has announced that it plans to double the production capacity at its biofuels production facility in Columbus, Miss.
KiOR Inc., based in Pasadena, announced Wednesday in a news release that it will build a second plant in Columbus that converts wood products to diesel and gasoline.
The company has to raise $225 million to pay for it though, which would mean selling more stock or borrowing more money. KiOR said it has raised another $50 million from investor Vinod Khosla, who has been a major financier for the company.
The company missed its estimates of how much fuel it would make in the second quarter, although it said output rose in July and August. Because it was running out of cash, it had a compelling need to raise money.
Cellulosic fuel: KiOR ships first production of wood chip-based diesel
In moving ahead in Columbus, KiOR will put off the start of construction of a larger facility in Natchez, Miss., until late 2014. The company said in August it would cost $560 million to $600 million to build the Natchez plant.
When the state of Mississippi made a $75 million low-interest loan in 2010, KiOR pledged to develop three plants in the state by the end of 2015, including one in the southwest. The company also agreed to invest $500 million in land and buildings and spend $85 million on wages and contract by the deadline. The company is also supposed to create 1,000 direct and indirect jobs.
Spokeswoman Kate Perez said the company is still on track to meet the deadline. “Our plans will allow us to meet our contractual obligations with the state,” she said.
Perez declined to say whether the company would count the two Columbus phases as separate plants to meet the three-plant requirement.
“I think it’s a fair question to ask,” said Joe Max Higgins, CEO of the Golden Triangle Development Li