03/29/05 — Biodiesel plant location changes

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Biodiesel plant location changes

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on March 29, 2005 1:45 PM

Plans to build a biodiesel plant at Mount Olive are proceeding but the location of the plant has changed.

Business and economic development officials will not say where the new location is, only that it is not far from the original site.

Joanna Thompson of the Wayne Economic Development Commission said today that the engineers are still working on the site plan for the N.C. Grain Growers Cooperative, which plans to build the plant that would turn grain into fuel.

The plant would be only the second such facility on the East Coast. The other is in Florida.

Originally, the $20 million plant was to be built on Old Mount Olive Highway, across from the Mount Olive Pickle Co. distribution center. Its new site is not far away, but company officials won't say exactly where.

"The site on which the announcement took place was originally the preferred site," Mrs. Thompson said. "However, as the engineering and design work progressed it became apparent that the original site might not work."

She said that an alternate site nearby has been identified, and that the engineers and consultants are concentrating their design efforts on the alternate site. Mrs. Thompson said that no other details of the project are available at this time, but she added that she is expecting to receive notice of a groundbreaking this spring or summer.

Mount Olive Mayor Ruff Huggins said the town's engineers are drawing up plans for sewer lines to go to the new plant. The area where the plant will go already has water, but the sewer lines extend only to the Boling plant at the corner of Old Mount Olive Highway and Northeast Church Road.

Huggins said the town probably will run sewer lines all the way down Northeast Church Road.