On May 14, 2014, BioNitrogen Holdings Corp. held a ribbon cutting ceremony at the site of the company’s proposed cleantech biomass gasification plant that will create urea fertilizer in Hendry County. BioNitrogen’s proprietary manufacturing process will use natural woody and agricultural waste biomass as its feedstock, in place of natural gas and harmful chemicals, to create a high-quality urea fertilizer. The only by-products are sulphur and fly ash, both of which will be packaged and sold for reuse by other industry segments. According to Gregg Gillman, President of the Hendry County Economic Development Council, it was “Hendry County’s largest project announcement in 50 years.”
In addition to local incentives provided by the Hendry County Economic Development Council, County administration and the Hendry County Industrial Development Authority, BioNitrogen received a $300,000 Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund (QTI) incentive from Enterprise Florida Inc. The Department of Transportation is providing approximately $850,000 through an Economic Development Transportation Fund Grant (EDTF) to fund the design and construction of turn lanes from C.R. 835 to the proposed facility. These improvements will help ensure safe and efficient access. The project is expected to create 55 full-time jobs as well as 250 construction jobs for the 18-month construction period which is expected to begin in late summer of 2014.
About 150 people attended the ribbon cutting and project announcement. Speakers included senior management of BioNitrogen, local officials, Representative Katie Edwards and Representative Matt Hudson. Also in attendance and speaking on behalf of the department was Rich Biter, Assistant Secretary of Intermodal Systems Development. District One was represented by Karen Miracola, EDTF Coordinator, and John Anderson, LaBelle Operations Center Manager.