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Jobs, new plant coming to Iberville

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PLAQUEMINE - Leaders in Iberville Parish said hundreds of jobs are coming their way in the form of alternative energy from sugar cane waste.

A new bio-refinery is coming to White Castle to convert sugar cane waste into an environmentally-friendly energy source. The announcement brings the promise of hundreds of new jobs for the area.

"This series of bio-refineries will create 450 new direct jobs, averaging a salary of $54,000 a year," said Governor Bobby Jindal, who led the press conference inside the Iberville Parish Courthouse. "(Louisiana Economic Development) predicts another 1,900 indirect jobs."

With the help of researchers from UL Lafayette, the company NFR Bio-Energy announced that it will build a plant capable of turning sugar cane waste into a coal-like substance, which the company claims burns much more cleanly than coal.

"(It will) be utilized in making steel, aluminum, plastics and also coal burning fuels for our nation and countries abroad," said Frank Randazzo, C.O.O. at NFR Bio-Energy.

Iberville Parish President Mitch Ourso said this project perfectly combines the agricultural foundation of Iberville Parish, along with the modern chemical based economy that sprang up in the area and that White Castle is a good place for the $300 million facility.

"I guess if any community needed a shot, it was White Castle," Ourso said.

Experts contend the new refinery will cut down on the amount of field burning farmers do, since the amount of sugar cane waste will be reduced.


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