Biofuel company announces plans for Mississippi refinery

A British company aims to build a $300 million refinery in southwest Mississippi to turn wood into the equivalent of diesel or jet fuel.

Velocys announced Friday that it signed an option for a 100-acre (40-hectare) site in Natchez.

Chandler Russ of economic development agency Natchez Inc. says Velocys plans 40 refinery jobs averaging $100,000 yearly in pay and benefits, and could indirectly support 100-plus forestry jobs paying $40,000 on average.

Russ says Adams County will pay for levee upgrades and donate land — a package worth $4 million — if Velocys obtains $300 million in financing.

He says Adams County would cut property taxes by two-thirds, worth $42 million. Velocys says it would also get $15 million in state tax breaks, but Mississippi's state government isn't contributing money upfront.