- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 17, 2016

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - An energy company led by a retired U.S. Army general and a former U.S. secretary of transportation is considering Jefferson County among potential sites for a $3 billion natural gas-to-liquid plant.

Arkansas Business (http://bit.ly/1R8syRJ ) reports that the Economic Development Corporation of Jefferson County approved resolutions Tuesday saying that it intends to offer Energy Security Partners LLC a $3.9 million incentive package.

The Little Rock-based company wants to build a plant that will convert natural gas into 33,000 barrels of diesel and naphtha each day. The company, which is run by retired U.S. Army Gen. Wesley Clark and former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Rodney Slater, would employ more than 200 people at an average wage of $40 per hour.

The incentives come from a county sales tax that voters approved in 2011 to attract new businesses to the area. The company could use the incentives to lease property from the economic development corporation and cover improvement costs under the condition that the company meets capital investment expectations and job-creation thresholds.

“The EDCJC recognizes the soundness of an incentive that develops industrial property to attract investment and supports a project of this magnitude,” said George Makris, chairman of the economic development corporation. “The economic impact of this project on Jefferson County will be transformational - we’re competing to win.”

Energy Security Partners said Jefferson County is one of “a number” of possible locations for the plant. Jefferson County is a good candidate for the plant because of its strategic geographical value, the company said.

Energy Security Partners expects to file permits related to the project and conduct “pre-construction engineering” and site development work early this year.

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Information from: Arkansas Business, http://www.arkansasbusiness.com

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