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Another bio plant on the county radar

The bad news is the biomass fuel plant that Screven County had been courting has been put on indefinite hold. The good news is a different company is considering building a similar plant in the county.
Gayle Boykin, executive director of the Industrial Development Authority, said she isn’t sure why the first project was put on hold, but she said the vice president of the company who had been leading the search is no longer with the firm.
She said work the county did for the first company earlier this year is paving the way for negotiations with the second company. She said she filled out information about the county on a site selection form that she turned in to the new company on Friday. During the IDA’s regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, she said she hopes the new business will schedule a visit to Screven County in the next few weeks.
Boykin did not identify either company. Usually, such negotiations are done in secret because that’s what potential investors demand.
She said a “significant” difference between the two companies is that the latest one has not asked requested gray water to use in the manufacturing process. The first company wanted a large amount of gray water, which would have required the City of Sylvania to completely revamp its water system and install underground pipes that could cost as much as $6 million.
She said the county meets the new company’s requirements for land, interconnectivity, availability of gas and availability of wood for fuel. The new company also has said it wants to use organic city and county waste.
The county made a change in its zoning ordinance in June to pave the way for the first company. Commissioners changed the ordinance to allow construction of an electric power plant and a wood pellet mill plant in the county’s industrial park, without requiring a public hearing for a conditional use. That change should help the latest company, Boykin said.
She also learned of two other biomass fuel projects during a recent conference. One company is looking for private investors as partners. She said she may set up a meeting to learn more about its plans. 
The other company wants a 75,000-square-foot building, which Screven County doesn’t have. If the company can’t find a building like it wants, Screven County may make a second list of contenders, Boykin said.