By BETTY ADAMS
Martin Chaffin, executive director of the Philips County Port Authority, told members at their meeting Monday night that he had advertised for bids for insurance to cover the crane and equipment being erected at the slack water harbor.
Dan Robinson, of Dan Robinson and Associates Inc., who are planning the marketing strategy for the harbor were guests at the meeting and presented a purchase agreement between the Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. and the Port Authority, which they signed.
Construction of an intermodal processing and storage facility in the industrial park of the Port of Helena will include a 100-megawatt generating facility. The PA will eventually take over the power plant and produce electric energy for the facility.
Robinson said when the power plant begins operation in its first phase it will be coal-fired. Later, it will convert back to gas made from agricultural waste.
Once the bond issues for the power plant are paid off, all revenue will go back to the Port Authority for harbor improvements. Robinson said some of the industries they are working on locating in the harbor include a medium density fiber board plant, a stone or granite cutting facility, and a plant that can make a product called crumb rubber. Crumb rubber can be reused and made into trunk liners for cars and other products. Other possibilities include a concrete facility that makes decorative pavers, roof tiles and lightweight concrete blocks, a chlorine company and most recently a biomass plant.
“We think we have some exciting projects lined up for the harbor,” said Robinson.
“If our vision for the park comes true it will be called an eco-park, where materials are recycled into re-usable products,” concluded Robinson.