The Clewiston News

BioNitrogen continues work at Hendry County plant

Cleantech urea fertilizer company BioNitrogen is building a new plant in Hendry County. The building process is expected to create 250 construction jobs, with 55 full-time position expected to be created when the plant opens for business.

Nearly one year after BioNitrogen Holdings Corporation held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the site for its prospective plant in Hendry County, the cleantech fertilizer company announced it has made “significant progress” in the permitting process, site analysis and site plan preparation.

In a press release issued Tuesday, BioNitrogen Chairman and CEO, Carlos Contreras, said the company is “poised to move forward and carry out its projects as have been outlined previously.”

The company, which set its sights on Hendry County as a viable location for its cleantech fertilizer plant, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 14 at the potential site on County Road 835.

BioNitrogen produces urea fertilizer using woody biomass as a feedstock instead of the usual coal or natural gas. The company predicted it would create roughly 250 construction jobs, initially, and 55 full-time positions once the plant opened for operation.

In October 2014, it announced the plant would be moved to another location within the 240-acre Weekley Industrial Park on C.R. 835 due to land-use restrictions. Environmental work, site surveys and soil borings were taking place at the time, and the company expected to resume preparation work after Nov. 15, 2014 once the new land was acquired, according to a press release issued Oct. 22, 2014.

In the same release, the company said the project had received nearly all of its permits to construct, a tax-free bond allocation, and grants and tax credits that totaled more than $2 million in cash or investments.

BioNitrogen expected to begin construction on the Hendry County plant by early 2015.

As of Tuesday, the company said there was a “significant amount of engineering activity happening ‘behind the scenes’” that the company was not able to disclose.

BioNitrogen did say it had submitted the Construction Air Permit application to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection on April 24, and that the plans and evaluations for plant construction remained unchanged.

Additional announcements on BioNitrogen’s progress are expected to be released in the next several days.