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Mississippi Officials Help $500 Million Silicon Manufacturing Plant Get Started

Mississippi offered $60 million in incentives and Lowndes County, Mississippi, allocated $16 million in infrastructure improvements to attract SiliCorr's $500 million silicon manufacturing plant operation to Columbus, a city with 26,000 residents south of Tupelo.

The plant, that SiliCorr officials say could eventually hire as many as 950 workers, will utilize a process that melts gravel into pure silicon used in a variety of products.

Lowndes County, in the eastern part of the state, allocated up to $16 million for site, road, railroad as well as utility improvements, and will assist with land purchase for the plant.

As an incentive the company will only pay about a third of the usual property tax rate, under a state economic development program designed to attract projects carrying an investment of more than $100 million.

SiliCorr officials said the plant will be constructed in two phases. The company promises to create 200 jobs within its first three years and another estimated 750 jobs three years later, when the plant is in full operation. If it doesn't meet projected employment figures, taxes could increase to 50 percent of the normal rate.

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