DECEMBER 2008

Chevron awards steel contract
Phoenix-based Schuff International said its Schuff Steel Gulf Coast division won a contract
to fabricate steel for the expansion of Chevron's Pascagoula, Miss. refinery. It will
fabricate 11,400 tons of structural steel at its Humble, Texas, plant. Chevron is working on
a $500 million project to increase gasoline production by 10 percent in Pascagoula.
(
Source: Mobile Press-Register, 12/24/08)

SSAB to cut contractors
MOBILE, Ala. - Swedish steel maker SSAB said it would cut contractor jobs at its Axis mill,
among 1,300 across the company, responding to rapidly shrinking steel demand. The
company declined to say how many jobs would be cut in Axis. The company has
previously said that it has 400 employees and 350 contractors at the north Mobile County
mill. (
Source: Mobile Press-Register, 12/09/08)

ThyssenKrupp holds job fair
MOBILE, Ala. - ThyssenKrupp Steel and Stainless USA will hold a job fair today in
Robertsdale and another Dec. 16 in Prichard. Today's job fair runs from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
at the Baldwin County Central Annex Auditorium at 22251 Palmer St. in Robertsdale.
The Dec. 16 fair is 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the A.J. Cooper Municipal Auditorium at 216 E.
Prichard Ave. (
Source: Mobile Press-Register, 12/09/08)


NOVEMBER 2008

Solutia cuts workforce
PENSACOLA, Fla. - Solutia Inc. laid off more than 330 workers at its plants in Pensacola
and Foley, Ala., on Friday in a restructuring of its nylon manufacturing business. Solutia
said 200 employees in Pensacola and 58 in Foley would be rehired when demand for
nylon fibers and resins picks up. The rest are permanent layoffs. Friday's layoffs included
200 Solutia employees and 340 contract workers. (
Source: Pensacola News Journal,
Mobile Press Register, 11/22/08)

Crosslink partners with USM
HATTIESBURG, Miss. – The University of Southern Mississippi has signed a lease
agreement with Missouri-based Crosslink to provide research space in the university’s
polymer science building. Crosslink has worked with Southern Miss polymer science
researchers since 2004. Previous collaborations include a variety of research projects in
polymer-related technologies, particularly for military applications. Crosslink and USM hold
a joint patent for a corrosion-inhibiting polymer. They are also working together on a
“smart” aerospace composite that can alert crew of damage and initiate repair on its own.
(
Source: University of Southern Mississippi, 11/20/08)

Evonik unveils $10 million facility
MOBILE, Ala. - Evonik Industries AG on Wednesday dedicated a new $10 million facility in
Theodore that produces Rohacell, a lightweight but strong foam used in everything from
airplane wings to high-end sports equipment. The 40,000 square-foot Evonik Degussa
facility started production several months ago. (
Source: Mobile Press-Register, 11/20/08)

Degussa eyes Theodore expansion
MOBILE, Ala. - Evonik Degussa Corp. is considering its Theodore site for a $160 million
expansion to make a nylon used in protective coating. If chosen, the plant would get 56
additional jobs to add to the current 680 employees. The polyamide 12 is used in a
variety of products, including fuel lines, ski boots and the outside of oil pipe. Three other
sites in the U.S. as well as Singapore and China are being considered. (
Source: Mobile
Press-Register, 11/14/08)


OCTOBER 2008

Axis steel mill to expand
MOBILE, Ala. – SSAB’s steel mill in Axis has beaten the company's mill in Iowa for a $460
million expansion that will create 180 new jobs. The Swedish company’s investment is the
second largest announced in Mobile County in recent years, behind the $4.5 billion
ThyssenKrupp AG steel plant in Calvert. SSAB said it would begin construction in 2009
and complete work in 2011. The mill now has 400 employees and 350 contractors.
(
Source: Mobile Press-Register, 10/22/08)

New research park named ‘The Garden’
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Officials announced Saturday that Viridis Development Co. plans
to build a 100,000-square-foot office and research building at the University of Southern
Mississippi’s 521-acre innovation and commercialization park – now officially named The
Garden. Viridis, formed by a group of Southern Miss alumni, will offer space to companies
wanting to locate in the park. The USM Research Foundation will be the building's first
tenant. The park will be home to the National Formulation Science Laboratory expected to
open in August 2009 and the Mississippi Polymer Institute. St. Louis-based Crosslink,
which makes electroactive polymer coatings, will move to the park as soon as space is
ready. (
Source: Hattiesburg American, 10/12/08)

FAA OKs Goodrich composite cowl
FOLEY, Ala. – Goodrich Corp. received FAA supplemental certification for a lightweight
fan cowl design for V2500-A5 engine nacelles. Goodrich’s Aerostructures business unit,
through its Alabama Service Center in Foley, Ala., will provide a one-piece cowl as part of
its aftermarket support program. The cowl, developed with Bombardier Aerospace of
Northern Ireland, uses Bombardier’s resin transfer infusion process that replaces the
traditional honeycomb interior. The International Aero Engines V2500-A5 is widely used
on the Airbus A320 aircraft, including the A319 and A321. There are about 2,500 of the
engines in service worldwide. (
Source: Tcp, Goodrich release, 10/09/08)


SEPTEMBER 2008

Wellman closing S.C. plant
HANCOCK COUNTY, Miss. – Wellman Inc., will close a plant in South Carolina, shed some
of its product lines and centralize operations at Port Bienville Industrial Park. Wellman’s
Pearl River plant is an anchor tenant at the county-owned Port Bienville, where it employs
about 158 people. The company entered bankruptcy this year and said consolidating
operations is part of its reorganization. (
Source: The Sun Herald, 09/20/08)

Ablitech funded for new cancer treatment
HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Ablitech Inc. has received $100,000 in funding from the National
Science Foundation to develop a new cancer treatment. The PolyRNA technology kills
cancer cells without harming healthy cells in the body. Silencing RNA (siRNA) has been
known as effective in killing cancer cells, but the problem in using it is liver enzymes attack
it and break it down. Ablitech has developed a way to protect the siRNA by attaching
specially tailored polymers around it. (
Source: Ablitech, 09/04/08)


AUGUST 2008

Pascagoula refinery expanding
PASCAGOULA, Miss. - Chevron announced Thursday it’s planning to expand its
Pascagoula refinery again. The refinery would produce 25,000 barrels a day of base oil,
used in making premium motor oils. It would make Chevron the largest producer of base
oil in the world. (
Source: The Sun Herald, 08/22/08)

Industrial composites firms sold
Two Mobile companies in the field of industrial composites have been acquired, the
parties involved said Tuesday. Canada’s Reinforced Plastics Inc. bought Non Metallic
Resources Inc. and SealTech Inc. for an undisclosed amount. NMR makes composite
piping, ducts and panels, and SealTech installs and maintains them. The companies have
100,000 square feet of manufacturing space in west Mobile. (
Source: Mobile Press-
Register, 08/20/08)


MAY 2008

Chevron moves to new digs
NEW ORLEANS, La. – Chevron has vacated its downtown New Orleans office building and
moved into its new regional headquarters in an office park south of Covington in St.
Tammany Parish. A national firm, Cushman & Wakefield, will be selling the New Orleans
office building at 935 Gravier Street. (
Source: New Orleans Times Picayune, 05/08/08)

Louisiana nabs Albemarle headquarters
BATON ROUGE, La. – Albemarle Corp., which has had a big presence in Baton Rouge for
a half-century, said it will leave Richmond, Va., to make Louisiana’s capital its permanent
headquarters. The global specialty chemicals maker already employs 600 people at an
administrative center in downtown Baton Rouge and a research and production center.
Albemarle will bring another 30 executives and professional support staff from the current
Virginia headquarters. (
Source: Baton Rouge Advocate, 05/01/08)


APRIL 2008

High tech company picks Port Bienville
BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. – High-technology company MAC LLC has chosen Hancock County’
s Port Bienville Industrial Park as its research, development and light manufacturing
location, creating up to 50 jobs when fully operational. MAC develops and produces
proprietary, lightweight ammunition technology for military applications. The new
technology offers weight savings of up to 25 percent, while retaining key characteristics of
conventional, brass ammunition. The company is leasing facilities from Hancock County
through the Port & Harbor Commission that were vacated after Hurricane Katrina. The
state’s award to Hancock County of a $1.99 million grant for use in repairing and
improving the county-owned property was a factor in the company choosing Hancock
County. (
Source: Hancock County Port & Harbor Commission, 04/09/08)


MARCH 2008

Tindall to unveil new plant in Moss Point
MOSS POINT, Miss. – A new Tindall Corp. concrete plant in Moss Point is set to be
unveiled Wednesday. The event marks a rebirth for the company, whose original plant in
Biloxi was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Spartanburg, S.C.-based Tindall used
about $23 million of tax-exempt Gulf Opportunity Zone (GO Zone) financing to rebuild the
$26 million facility. The plant employs about 140 people. (
Source: Mobile Press-Register,
03/07/08)


FEBRUARY 2008

Wellman files for bankruptcy protection
Wellman Inc. has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, but a company
spokesman says it will continue to be business as usual at all locations, including the
Pearl River Plant in Hancock County. Wellman manufactures and markets polyester
products, including PermaClear brand PET (polyethylene terephthalate) packaging resins
and Fortrel brand polyester fibers. The company’s corporate headquarters and several
other manufacturing facilities are in South Carolina. The filing was made Friday. (
Source:
The Sun Herald, 02/26/08)

Baton Rouge nanotech company sold
BATON ROUGE, La. – NanoMatrix Inc. has been purchased by Organogenesis Inc., a
regenerative medicine company based in Canton, Mass. Organogenesis bought
NanoMatrix for its technology, which makes it possible to mimic the three-dimensional
architectural structure essential to the body’s natural growth and repair processes.
Organogenesis said it is the first company to successfully mass-produce living
regenerative medicine products. (
Source: Baton Rouge Advocate, 02/25/08)

Wicker gets overview of advanced materials role
HATTIESBURG, Miss. – The interim replacement for Trent Lott, Roger Wicker, was in
Hattiesburg Monday to hear about the crucial role of advanced materials research at the
University of Southern Mississippi. Wicker, named in December to replace Lott in the U.S.
Senate, was told among other things that metal corrosion cost the Defense Department
$20 billion last year. He was told contractors like Boeing and Northrop Grumman may wind
up hiring more polymer scientists then metallurgists because of the growing importance of
advanced materials. (
Source: Hattiesburg American, 02/05/08)

Biodiesel plant in the works
PENSACOLA, Fla. – A Florida businessman wants to build a $21.5 million biodiesel fuel
plant in either Escambia or Santa Rosa county. Rick Higdon, owner Agri-Source Fuels, is
considering several sites in both counties. The plant would produce about 20 million
gallons of biodiesel annually. Last year, Higdon established his first biodiesel plant in
Dade City. Agri-Source Fuels’ local operation would employ up to 25 people and produce
biodiesel 24 hours a day. (
Source: Pensacola News Journal, 02/02/08)


JANUARY 2008

Gulfport-Biloxi among the fastest growing metro areas
The three-county Gulfport-Biloxi Metropolitan Statistical Area is ranked 9th fastest growing
small metro areas, according to the latest list in Forbes. The metro area’s gross
metropolitan product – the value of goods and services produced – is expected to grow
23.12 percent between 2007 and 2012. Its population alone will increase by nearly 17
percent. Forbes looked at the nation’s 363 metro areas and split the list between large
and small metro areas. Forbes used projections by Moody’s Economy.com. Topping the
list of small metro areas was Mobile. The GMP for Mobile will rise 34 percent between
2007 and 2012. The top large metro area was Austin, Texas. (
Source: Tcp, 01/30/08)

Albemarle to invest $26 million
BATON ROUGE, La. – Albemarle Corp. will invest $26 million in Baton Rouge capital
projects the next two years, expanding its production of plastics catalysts, building a new
chemistry laboratory and overhauling 10 floors of one of downtown Baton Rouge’s tallest
structures. The company is a key supplier of intermediate chemicals for the refining,
plastics and pharmaceuticals sectors. Albemarle’s nearly $2.5 billion in annual business
has doubled in the past decade. (
Source: Baton Rouge Advocate, 01/27/08)

Mississippi tax system gets high marks
A new report lists Mississippi with high marks for having a mechanism in place to review its
tax systems in light of the changing economy. A study by the Pew Center on the States
says effective tax systems are important for a state’s competitiveness. Good ones provide
stable revenue, efficient tax collection, transparent information about incentives and give
localities a say in how tax dollars are used. The study says many state tax systems fail on
these measures and lack the ability to support new economic engines. In addition to
Mississippi, other states with effective systems are Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Nebraska,
New Jersey, Texas and Utah. (
Source: Governing, 01/08)

Mississippi No. 2 in R&D earmarks
The top 10 state recipients of R&D earmarks receive nearly half the total, according to an
analysis by American Association for the Advancement of Science. Mississippi received
$250 million, second only to California. Excluding earmarks divided among three or more
states, the 10 states receive 44 percent of all R&D earmarks in 2008 by value. The 10
represents a mix of the most populous states and smaller states with members of
Congress in key appropriations committee chairmanships. Congress inserted nearly $4.5
billion in federal R&D earmarks, spread over 2,526 projects, in spending bills for fiscal
year 2008, according to AAAS. The earmarks are for projects not included in agency
budget requests. After a one-year moratorium in the 2007 fiscal year for most domestic
earmarks, Congress resumed the practice for the 2008 fiscal year with new disclosure
requirements. (
Source: AAAS, 01/07/08)