Natchitoches was named among the nation’s top 100 micropolitans for economic development by Site Selection magazine, a leading economic development journal. A micropolitan is a statistical area with a population of at least 10,000 but less than 50,000. Natchitoches ranks at no. 51 out of 575 micropolitans nationwide, with three economic development projects. Those projects include Biomass Secure Power, Alliance Compressors, and Pilgrim’s Pride.
“We’re proud of this ranking, as it demonstrates the level of commitment we have in our area to developing our resources,” said Mayor Lee Posey, City of Natchitoches. “These projects add jobs, increase local capital and—most importantly—show we are a great place to invest. The City is a major supporter of the Natchitoches Community Alliance (NCA), which has shown great promise in helping develop our assets, and I look forward to continued successes for our City.”
Biomass Power Louisiana, LLC, a subsidiary of Biomass Secure Power, is negotiating a lease for 90 acres of land at the Port of Natchitoches for the Phase I construction of a proposed torrefied biomass briquettes plant. The company plans to sell the torrefied biomass briquettes to power producers in Europe and Asia who require a sustainable substitute for coal.
Total construction costs for Phase I is estimated to be $49.2 million. Upon completion of Phase I, the plant will have a production capacity of 240,000 metric tons. In January, Biomass Power Louisiana, LLC received preliminary approval for up to $60 million in bonding authority with the Louisiana Bond Commission. These funds will be used for construction and equipment for a manufacturing facility at the Port of Natchitoches.
Alliance Compressors and Pilgrim’s Pride are both modernization projects. Alliance Compressors manufactures compressors, primarily for air conditioners, with Emerson Climate Technologies as the majority and operating organization. Alliance Compressors completed a $25 million modernization project that retained 460 existing jobs and added 100 additional jobs.
Pilgrim’s Pride Chicken Processing Plant in Natchitoches is completing $12 million in modernization projects that will retain 475 jobs in Natchitoches Parish.