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Owner of biodiesel plant says he will rebuild

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Updated: 1/24 9:32 pm
NEW ALBANY, Miss. (WTVA) -- The owner of the JNS Biofuels plant near New Albany said despite the total loss of the plant, he expects to rebuild.

Three explosions occurred at the plant Wednesday and Thursday.

Officials speculate they started close to a thermal oil heater, but the cause of the explosions remain under investigation.

Only the plant's substation remains unharmed.

Owner Steve Bolin said the biodiesel company takes chicken fat, soybean oil, and other chemicals to mix together and make biofuel.

The fuel is then supplied to gas stations and farmers across the southeast.

Bolin said 9 employees work at the plant and two were on the scene at the time of the initial explosion. However, no injuries have been reported.

Thus far, the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the ATF have responded to the scene as well as local and state emergency personnel.

The ATF remains on site.

Bolin, who lives in Arkansas, said his insurance will not cover the loss of the plant, only the clean up.

As for now, authorities are not sure how long the clean up will take, but personnel are on the move.

Nearly 500 feet of primary power line connected to the plant is currently being repaired.

Bolin also hired two private contractors to check the air, water, and soil quality of the area surrounding the plant, and he said excavation to get contaminated soil out of the area has started.

JNS Biofuels has produced fuel for a little over a year.

Construction of the plant site began in 2011.
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