Sugar cane waste means 450 new jobs, $312M capital investment - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Sugar cane waste means 450 new jobs, $312M capital investment

PLAQUEMINE, LA (WAFB) -

Governor Bobby Jindal and Chief Operating Officer Frank Randazzo of NFR BioEnergy announced the company will make a $312 million capital investment to install biorefineries at more than 10 sugar refining hubs in South Louisiana.

Pending the sugar mill agreements, NFR BioEnergy will construct a series of biorefineries across South Louisiana's sugar cane-growing region.That means 450 new direct jobs will be created, with an average salary of $54,000 a year, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in an additional 1,903 new indirect jobs.

NFR BioEnergy will convert sugar cane waste, known as bagasse, into hardened energy pellets for use as fuel at global power plants. NFR BioEnergy has begun development of the first biorefinery in White Castle, Louisiana, where it is co-locating the facility with the Cora Texas Sugar Mill.

NFR BioEnergy expects significant hiring will begin in 2016 with a target of 127 jobs by the end of that year. The company would reach a capital investment of $312 million by the end of 2018 and employment of 450 by the end of its fifth project year in 2019.

"NFR is choosing to invest in Louisiana due to the dynamic sugar industry, hard-working people and business-friendly community," Randazzo said.

"Iberville Parish is thrilled to welcome NFR BioEnergy," said Iberville Parish President Mitchell Ourso. "Long before the arrival of the petrochemical industry, the sugar cane industry was the heart and soul of the economy here in Iberville. Thanks to the hard work of the Kessler and Schudmak families, Cora Texas Sugar Mill today stands as one the largest mills in the state of Louisiana. Bringing the technology of renewable fuels by NFR BioEnergy to the Cora Texas Mill and converting a waste byproduct of sugar production into a useful energy fuel signifies a significant step in securing the future of the sugar industry here in Iberville Parish and the state of Louisiana."

Copyright 2014 WAFB. All rights reserved.

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