By Business First of Louisville

An Indiana-based company is considering building a $470 million biomass facility in Gallatin County, near Warsaw, Ky.

Natureâ¿¿s Fuel Gallatin LLC, a subsidiary of Fort Wayne, Ind.-based Natureâ¿¿s Fuel, received preliminary approval on Thursday for up to $35 million in tax incentives from the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority.

According to documents submitted to the KEDFA board, the company would build a facility on 115 acres in Gallatin County, about 65 miles northeast of Louisville. It would employ about 280 people with an average hourly wage of $20.47.

Natureâ¿¿s Fuel would use the facility to convert wood waste, construction waste, industrial waste, municipal solid waste and manure into renewable bio-crude oil.

The company would use only about 30 to 40 acres of the property for the facility, said J. Don Goodin, direct loan programs director for the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development. The remainder would be used as a buffer because of odors expected at the plant.

Natureâ¿¿s Fuel anticipates the plant would produce 77.5 million gallons of bio-oil once the plant is fully operational, according to the documents.

The company applied under the stateâ¿¿s Incentives for Energy Independence Act, which provides tax incentives for up to 25 years for eligible projects.

According to the KEDFA documents, ⿿the Energy and Environmental Cabinet and the (University of Kentucky) Center of Applied Energy Research has determined the project meets the conditions outlined in the state statute.⿝

The documents also said company officials have indicated alternative locations for the project, and the facility would not be located in Kentucky were the incentives not available.

In 2006, Natureâ¿¿s Fuel built a fuel facility in Atwood, Ind., that went into full production in 2009 and could produce more than 14,000 gallons of bio-oil ever 24 hours, according to the KEDFA documents. The company has decided to relocate the facility to Michigan because of its proximity to a residential neighborhood.

The company also has begun construction of a facility at a landfill in Huntington, Ind., to process municipal solid waste, the documents said.

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