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Delta Bridge Project Funds Biodiesel Feasibility
CLINTON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY, LITTLE ROCK, AR -Southern Financial Partners awarded a $30,000 grant to the Phillips County Chamber of Commerce to commission a site-specific biodiesel feasibility study to capitalize on the rapidly growing biodiesel industry. The feasibility study is expected to determine the feasibility of the opening of an integrated soybean processing and biodiesel manufacturing facility, capable of producing at least 10 million gallons of biodiesel per year.The Phillips County Chamber of Commerce has championed biodiesel as a new value-added industry that is well-suited for development in Phillips County. â€œThis will provide a new market for our farmers and allow us to better utilize our assets,â€ stated Tom Turner, the Executive Director for the Phillips County Chamber of Commerce.
Phillips County has a strong comparative advantage in biodiesel production with extensive soybean production; excellent river, road, and rail transport links; and historical chemical and fertilizer production in the area. â€œBiodiesel is a perfect fit for the county. It represents another market for our farmers. It will create jobs locally, while lessening the nationâ€™s dependence on foreign oil,â€ stated Turner.
â€œProximity to supply inputs and ease in distribution combined with local know-how make this an ideal venture for Phillips County,â€ stated Ben Steinberg, president of Southern Financial Partners, â€œWe believe that the Chamber of Commerce has done an excellent job identifying the opportunity and developing it. As part of the Phillips County Strategic Community Plan, weâ€™re happy to lend some financial support to the Chamber to help make this happen.â€
The announcement is taking place at the Mississippi Delta Grassroots Caucus Annual Conference where innovative ideas and best practices in rural development from the region are being shared and disseminated.
The site-specific biodiesel feasibility study builds on a pre-feasibility biodiesel analysis conducted by Winrock International and the Phillips County Chamber of Commerce.
Southern Financial Partners is a 501(c)3 organization engaged in a comprehensive community development initiative in Phillips County, Arkansas as well as other targeted rural communities in Arkansas and Mississippi. Southern Financial Partners, Southern Good Faith Fund, and Southern Property Corporation are affiliates of Southern Bancorp, a $500 million rural development bank with banking operations in Arkansas and Mississippi.