Alternative Energy Development (AED) broke ground this week on a wood pellet manufacturing plant in Copiah County, Miss., that is projected to process 1 million tons of pulp wood a year and ship 500,000 tons overseas. AED Principal Gary Ogle anticipates that the facility will provide a big economic boost for the community, employing 62 people with an annual payroll of $2.7 million. In addition, AED estimates there will be four people working in the woods for each employee at the plant, adding up to 300 jobs for the southwest Mississippi county. The county has over 330,000 acres of timber according to Mississippi State University. Statewide, Mississippi has 19.7 million acres of timber, with a 2017 production value of nearly $1.4 million. The 130,000 square foot plant is scheduled to begin operating in roughly 14 months.

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