Big economic news for Hancock County

Some huge economic news coming out of the Hancock County Port and Harbor Commission at last night’s Industry Awards Gala. Here’s a brief look at the major announcements Executive Director Ashley Edwards made:

DAK Americas will invest millions of dollars in a new polyester staple fiber manufacturing facility at Port Bienville Industrial Park. The investment means 86 new jobs with average annual salary of $50,000. DAK’s Pearl River Site makes PET resins for bottling and packaging. The project is expected to begin operating in the second half of 2016.

PHI Inc., the helicopter services company, is making Stennis International Airport its new base for emergency operations for major oil and gas customer evacuations when tropical weather threatens the Gulf. “We decided to make Stennis International Airport our new base because of their outstanding facilities, strategic location and ease of doing business,” said PHI’s David Stepanek.

EmberClear Corp. and the Port and Harbor Commission have executed a lease-option agreement on a 150-acre site in Port Bienville Industrial Park for a new petrochemical plant. If constructed, the project would bring $1 billion in site work, infrastructure improvements, industrial facilities and machinery and more than 100 permanent jobs.

“We are working to develop a 3,700 metric ton-per-day natural gas to methanol project to be constructed,” said EmberClear President Raj Suri. “We have already acquired the necessary air permits, and we are raising the necessary funds for the construction. If all goes as per our plan, the site work, as a precursor to construction, can begin in the later part of next year.”

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