The Vicksburg plant opened in 2008 at a cost of more than $100 million and is one of only five corn-to-ethanol refineries south of the Ohio River, according to Renewable Fuels Association records.
Some observers had attributed part of an increase in corn production in Mississippi's Delta region to the proximity of the Vicksburg facility, though acreage levels dipped this year. Cooper said that Bunge-Ergon was still bringing corn from other regions, making its transportation costs higher than facilities in the Midwest.
In 2010, the company received a property tax break from Vicksburg and Warren County, according to The Vicksburg Post. The lower tax rate, approved after the Bunge-Ergon said it produced about 54 million gallons of ethanol in its first year, had the company paying a third of the facility's assessed value.
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