PORT GIBSON, Miss (WJTV) – Along the Mississippi River in Claiborne County, new industries are moving in to build up ports and open the area to global trade. One natural gas company is just one month away from breaking ground.
In 2017 President Trump’s tax cuts and jobs act created “opportunity zones” for economically distressed areas like Claiborne County giving tax benefits for companies who invest in them. In Port Gibson, Hesco Energy is answering the call.
“We are ready to turn some dirt and start construction on the project,” Port Gibson Mayor Fred Reeves said.
Along with Port Gibson Mayor Fred Reeves, people of the town gathered at the community meeting eager to learn about the company Hesco Energy opening a plant in their area.
“I’ve lived here all my life and I’ve seen it go from a viable city,” Port Gibson local William May said. “Where you couldn’t find a parking spot on Saturdays and Fridays. Now you don’t even have a vehicle sitting on Main Street.”
Hesco’s plan is to open a 6,400-acre plant to produce and sell Liquified Natural Gas to power ships and plants around the nation. Totaling around 30,000 new jobs.
“We will first look locally before we look outside of Claiborne County,” Hesco CEO Monte Burton said. “With that, we’ll have training programs with Alcorn State, also Hinds Community College so that we can really help the people here have the shot at creating these jobs.”
Liquified Natural Gas also known as LNG is a fuel source odorless, non-toxic, and cooled at -260 degrees. Positioned on the Mississippi it opens up Port Gibson to global trade.
“We can go worldwide,” Hesco marketing Operator Hernando Cruz explained. “We’re going to be concentrating in the Carribean at Puerto Rico as a hub to deliver fuels.”
Representatives from Claiborne County schools were also in attendance learning as Hesco builds up, the future of students will rise with more funding and education opportunities.
“He did talk about building new schools, viewing our schools, and talked about technology,” School Board President Jacquelied Jones said. “So we can get better things done for our children.”
Also in attendance at the meeting was the President of Alcorn State University to see how she could get the school involved for students who want to go into the natural gas field. And members from the Louisiana governors office to see how this could bring back an old ferry business that was right on the river.