A bioenergy company is “completely committed” to building two plants in Crossett, Crossett Economic Development Director Mike Smith told the Crossett City Council Monday.

Smith did not publicly name the company, but he told the council that he had spoken with them Monday, and that they are continuing to move forward on engineering related to the Arkansas permitting process.

“They were hoping to break ground this time next year, that is assuming they receive the financing they are going to do,” he said.

“They are completely committed to building two plants here in Crossett. It is just a matter of permitting and getting financing. They have had contact with some pretty deep pockets in Arkansas, and they have been in contact with (the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality).”

In addition to speaking about the bioenergy company, Smith said that, “Right now, we probably have more companies looking at Crossett than we have had at any one time.”

One of the interested businesses is a wood pellet company that has a dimensional lumber component. Smith said he did not know what their time frame for making a decision was.

Another pellet company is looking at the area, and Smith said he has taken representatives of Crossett businesses to an existing plant associated with that company to see if they can contract for maintenance work there.

The Economic Development Foundation has also received a request for proposals from a company that works with magnesium products.

That company will make a decision in February, he said.

A company that has committed to build a large solar farm in the area wants to meet with the council to discuss economic development incentives, Smith said.

The company also wants the property to be annexed into the city.

“They want the property annexed before beginning work,” Smith said. “They want city services. We pushed pretty hard and they understood it was important they be in the city limits. (The company) would have the city limits on two sides of their property anyway.”

Smith asked if the council would meet with the solar company at its next regular working session.

The next working session is scheduled for Oct. 14.

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