Owensboro Grain will receive incentives after fulfilling its obligations to the Kentucky Business Investment Program.

On Tuesday, the Owensboro City Commission unanimously approved a municipal order that will allow Owensboro Grain to retain 1% of all new occupational license fees due and payable to the city from the salaries, wages and other compensation to be paid to new employees hired under OG&A BioSpecialties LLC. Owensboro Grain will receive this tax rebate for the next 10 years after having met the criteria under the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority’s (KEDFA) Kentucky Business Investment Program.

In 2016, Owensboro Grain worked with Houston-based Accelergy Corp. to create OG&A BioSpecialties LLC, a company that commercializes and markets soy-based lubricants, solvents and waxes produced at Owensboro Grain.

In January 2017, KEDFA approved $200,000 in incentives to bring the $8.1-million project to Owensboro. The project saw Owensboro Grain’s Ewing Road glycerin refinery adapted to begin processing soy-based wax that can be used for candles.

Aside from candles, the soy-based wax can also be used to produce fluid for electrical transformers and coating cardboard boxes, among other things, said John Wright, Owensboro Grain executive vice president.

The plant can produce upward of 150 million pounds of wax a year, using 10 million bushels of soybeans. The project has allowed Owensboro Grain to pay farmers a premium through their continued diversification into new markets, said Brittaney Johnson, Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation president and CEO.

In order to receive the tax incentive, Owensboro Grain had to meet certain state milestones in terms of wage and employment.

For Owensboro Grain, that meant the hiring of 10 employees at $24 an hour onto of the company’s $8.1 million investment into the Owensboro-based project.

The 1% incentive approved by the commission only applies to those 10 employees hired specifically for the BioSpecialties project. Those criteria have been met and the final approval from KEDFA for meeting the criteria has been granted, Johnson said.

The completion and continuation of the project and the state’s incentives program was a great deal for one of Owensboro’s, “best corporate citizens,” said Mayor Tom Watson.

Jacob Mulliken, 270-228-2837, jmulliken@messenger-inquirer.com.

Jacob Mulliken, 270-228-2837, jmulliken@messenger-inquirer.com

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