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COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) — A Columbus industry reaches a major milestone that could change the nature of alternative fuels.

Kior has turned wood byproducts into refinable oil at its pioneering $250 million facility at the east bank of the Lowndes County Port in Columbus.

KiOR President Fred Cannon tells WCBI the company plans to refine that oil and ship its first truckloads of gas and diesel for use in cars and trucks by the end of the month.

Work on the first-of-its kind Columbus plant began more than two years ago and Kior soon will begin work on an even larger facility in Natchez.

Cannon says the local operation has exceeded expectations. Research continues there to reduce byproducts and costs while increasing production.

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