By Press Reports
The Choctaw County Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with the Choctaw County Economic Development District, recently hosted a “State of the Power Markets” luncheon sponsored by Quantum Utility Generation for regional economic development stakeholders in Ackerman.
Following an introduction to Quantum, its planned investments in Choctaw County and the surrounding community, as well as an overview of the Energy Industry and trends on power prices in the Southeast; a ribbon cutting at the newly dubbed “Quantum Choctaw Power” was highlighted by a visit from Congressman Alan Nunnelee.
“Quantum’s Choctaw County plan is good for Mississippi job creation.” said Nunnelee, who represents Mississippi’s First Congressional District. “This is a plant that is all American: the equipment, the fuel – and therefore the energy – it is all manufactured by Americans, which is what we need to do as a nation to become energy self-sufficient.”
Quantum’s recent purchase of Choctaw Gas Generation, LLC, has had a positive impact on the County as demonstrated by comments from local leaders and officials.
“The Chamber of Commerce welcomes Quantum to Choctaw County,” said Teresa Ryan, president of the Choctaw County Chamber of Commerce.
“Lara Bowman, our new executive director, and I, are proud to welcome a business like Quantum that has already shown such an interest in being a great business and a good neighbor to Choctaw Countians.”
“We are glad that Quantum is here and we are excited by what should be a great cooperative partnership for Choctaw County,” said Chris McIntire, president of the Choctaw County Board of Supervisors.
“The largest part of Economic Development is not just creating new jobs, but in retaining opportunities and keeping quality employment in the region. We are proud to be a part of Quantum’s largest acquisition in this industry segment.”
“We know, as the group focused on economic development for Choctaw County, that having our elected leaders take an interest in local projects is necessary for success,” said Ron Bennett, president of the Choctaw County Economic Development District.
“We appreciate the Congressman taking time to learn about this facility and about how its ability to create jobs will benefit Choctaw County as well as many other locales in his district. We are grateful that the management of Quantum takes this seriously and made the vision of its operations here a reality.”
The Choctaw County Economic Development District is the development authority for Choctaw County, and the Quantum project reflects a multi-county effort to provide a workforce for this utility company. The Choctaw facility represents Quantum’s largest and most significant investment to date, namely because the plant was well- constructed and has been meticulously maintained by a team of seasoned professionals.
The plant runs on low-priced natural gas and can produce power more cost-effectively than any other power plant in the region. Any utility that purchases power from Choctaw can reduce the rates the utility charges its customers. Quantum and the plant staff are committed to making Choctaw the safest, most reliable and most efficient gas-fired power plant in the region to ensure that potential customers in the Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic states will benefit by contracting with the plant under a long-term power sales agreements.
“Quantum has a keen focus on the facility, its staff, the business and incremental investments to ensure Choctaw is the safest, most reliable and efficient plant in the region,” said Bob Bond, plant manager.
“It has been and excellent experience working with Quantum. From a human resources perspective, Larry [Kellerman] and all his staff have been really great to work with. They have done an excellent job of trying to take care of the work force, as well as demonstrating a real interest in community oriented projects.”
Quantum has already contributed to help purchase critical safety equipment for Simpson Volunteer Fire Department and is assessing several other opportunities for contributions and community service, including projects for a playground and with the local animal shelter.
“Quantum Utility Generation, the new owner of Quantum Choctaw Power, is pleased to be a new enterprise that is actively investing in the Choctaw County community,” said Larry Kellerman, chief executive officer of Quantum Utility Generation.
“Highly-efficient natural gas-fired generation like Quantum Choctaw Power can be a vital driver of economic stability and growth in the Northern Mississippi region, especially as we focus on contracting its output to utilities in the Southeast, Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions under predictable long-term sales agreements beginning in early 2013.”
“Creating awareness among local, state and federal stakeholders about the significant economic and environmental benefits of contracted natural gas-fired generation is critical to ensuring the long-term viability of Quantum Choctaw Power in its roles as a cost-effective power producer, a large employer of local professionals and a source of meaningful tax payments to the local community,” said Sean O’Donnell, Quantum’s chief financial officer.
“Quantum and their willingness to partner with the community is exactly what good economic development is all about,” said Nick Walters, who directs the county’s economic development efforts. “Choctaw County is looking forward to newfound momentum generated by Quantum Choctaw Power’s investments in Mississippi, in Choctaw County, and in the surrounding community.”
For more information on Quantum, visit www.quantumug.com.
For more information on Choctaw County visit the Chamber of Commerce website, www.choctawcountyms.com.