Lake Providence acid plant to open soon, spurring local economy - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Lake Providence acid plant to open soon, spurring local economy

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LAKE PROVIDENCE, La. (KNOE 8 News) -  A new "green" chemical plant is bringing more jobs to East Carroll Parish. With double digit unemployment rates, East Carroll Parish is one of the state's poorest.

But a new plant has been in the works since 2003 and it could act as a catalyst for change. The Port Priority Program funded infrastructure near the Lake Providence Port, making the construction of the Myriant Plant possible.

Port director Wyly Gilford has overseen the process since the beginning. "Its been such a long and sometimes bumpy ride, so getting close to fruition is an exciting time for us," said Gilford. Myriant General Manager Tim Stafford says, the chemical plant will open its doors soon,  "We're weeks away, days to weeks,"

The plant will employ dozens hired last summer from across the delta region. "It's had not just a lake providence or East Carroll impact, but a regional impact," said Gilford. This plant will not only provide jobs, but it will also be good for the environment by using green technology. The plant will manufacture bio-succinnic acid, a base used in paints, pigment dyes, and food coloring.

The acid is made from a naturally grown source, rather than oil or petroleum, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the U.S. Dependence on foreign oil.  "When you hear the word acid you think of a corrosive material, but its really an industrial chemical, used in a lot of different ways to make products for modern living," said Gilford.

The facility isn't even open yet and parish leaders say the effect has been felt by the region. Hundreds involved in the building process have been filling restaurants and hotels from Oak Grove to Vicksburg and everywhere in between.

The company is hoping to open the plant late spring/early summer.

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