More details on economic development projects

Here are some details on the incentives and the businesses’ plans:

– Calisolar, a company that makes silicon for solar panels and other industries, plans to open a site in Columbus that will create 951 direct full-time jobs with an average annual salary of $45,000 plus benefits.

Under that incentive package proposed, Mississippi would provide a $59.5 million loan for the company’s building and equipment but the facility will be owned by Lowndes County. Calisolar will lease the building, with those payments going to pay the debt service, said MDA chief financial officer Kathy Gelston.

Mississippi also would provide $15.75 million in grant funding for infrastructure and workforce training.

Construction is expected to begin in the first half of 2012.

– HCL Cleantech, which plans to establish the company’s headquarters in Olive Branch, build a small-scale commercial facility and research and development center in Grenada and construct three large-scale commercial plants in the Booneville, Hattiesburg and Natchez areas, will create 800 jobs that pay an average salary of $67,000 plus benefits.

The incentive package offers that company a $95 million loan and $5 million grant that could be used for training, infrastructure or equipment.

That project would be phased out, with the Olive Branch and Grenada sites coming online in 2013. Other sites would open between 2015 and 2019, said MDA Deputy Director Whit Hughes.

HCL Cleantech turns wood chips into cellulosic sugars that can be used for surfactants, cosmetics and industrial lubricants, among other products.

Answers to a couple of the questions we heard:

Clarion Ledger
9/1/11