Developers are eager to get the aluminum plant up and running

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – It was a big day for the state yesterday, but the excitement didn’t just come from the state’s approval Wednesday afternoon.

It’s been a long time coming for the Aluminum plant to make its way to the Golden Triangle area.. and developers feel that it won’t stop there

“I got to talk to one of my friends that we competed with this morning and he said where you got us if you had the land, you had the water there, you had the sewer there and he had already calculated up what kind of financial disadvantage he was in on the deal,” said golden triangle development link CEO Joe Max Higgins.

Golden Triangle Development LINK CEO Joe Max Higgins felt he had the deal done to bring the $2.5 billion dollar aluminum mill to Lowndes County when he and his team began the groundwork nearly a decade ago.

State lawmakers passed a plan Wednesday that will give money to Steel Dynamics and help start an aluminum plant not far from it.

Higgins praised the Mississippi Development Authority for the part they’ve played over the years.

“Fortunately the legislature has been supporting site preparation the past few years they have given MDA 60 million dollars to us in communities to help buy land, do environmental studies, engineering studies, on land to get sites when they’re ready for a project,” said deputy director of Mississippi’s development authority Laura Hipp.

On Wednesday legislators provided $81 million of that money upfront, but it won’t all be for the building of the site. Some will go towards bridge and road repairs in the county.

“Where the state can fit into the project and meet the needs of the site; like the road funding that’s a great place for the state to plug in and provide funding for that,” said Hipp.

The site doesn’t have anything out here right now but in December Higgins expects ground to break for the plant to begin fully up and running by 2026, but it doesn’t stop here; Higgins is already looking ahead.

“We’ve got plans A, B, and C on where we think we want to grow next but we do have to realize that it’s going to take a while to grow into this project. I think it’s in our best interest for the region for us to identify where that next mega site is and start working on that while we’re building this; understanding that it might take 10 years for us to grow into support in what we’ve got here and be ready to go for the next one,” said Higgins.

Higgins says that co companies will operate within the new plant site and may make objects like beer cans.

Hipp says that the aluminum plant could easily open the doors for an automotive plant or plane manufacturing plant to make its way to the Golden Triangle.

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