An update on the Sun Bio pulp mill was given to the Clark County Quorum Court Monday evening.

An update on the Sun Bio pulp mill was given to the Clark County Quorum Court Monday evening.
According to Stephen Bell, president/CEO of the Arakdelphia Regional Economic Development Alliance and Area Chamber of Commerce, work on the pulp mill is moving at a “pretty good” pace.
“We’re still in the pre-engineering permitting stage,” said Bell, who estimates that construction on the site is expected to begin in March 2018.
According to Bell, the plant will be located on Highway 67 across from the Clark County Industrial Park. The mill will be located on approximately 1,100 acres of land.
Bell showed justices photos of some of the large equipment that will be used at the mill.
“Some of the equipment will come from the manufacturers in Europe or China,” Bell said.
A logistics company has been hired to explore strategies on how to transport the large equipment into the mill site.
“This will be an extremely large facility. It will take two years to build and will require 2,000 workers. It won’t be 2,000 at one time, but it will peak at 2,000 and then it will come back down,” said Bell.
According to Bell, the pulp mill will consume 10,000 tons of pulp material daily.
“It’s about 400 trucks a day that will go into the site,” Bell said.
Due to the high volume of pulp material, Bell said approximately 81 megawatts of power will be generated. This electricity will be sold on the power grid.
“If you go out and look at the site, they are actually harvesting the trees off of the site where the plant is going to be,” said Bell.
According to Bell, Sun Bio will produce is dissolving pulp. The material will be packaged in bales and loaded onto box cars. The product will be used to make rayon for clothing. While Sun Bio does not produce clothes, Bell said the company has vendors who uses Sun Bio’s material to manufacture clothes.
Bell stated the pulp mill will not produce an odor due to the use of chlorine dioxide.
“What we are waiting on right now is the air permit. The air permit will allow you to begin construction on the site,” said Bell.
According to Bell, the air permit is about a 180-day process and is expected to be issued by early September.
Bell said work continues with the City of Arkadelphia to supply water to the mill from the Ouachita River. Sun Bio is eligible for $75-million in state bonds through the Arkansas Natural Resource Commission. The funds will allow Sun Bio to build the water and sewer portion of the project at a low rate.
“There has to be some public participation in that. That’s where the City of Arkadelphia is involved,” Bell said.
In addition, Bell informed justices on the plans to build a public transload facility.
“This is basically another rail spur that connects to a cross dock. This will allow other companies to come in to use that rail spur for rail services,” said Bell.
According to Bell, the local transload facility will be the only public transload facility between Memphis and Dallas.
The transload will allow trucks to enter and unload their material to be shipped by rail.
Also addressed:
• Justices adopted an ordinance pertaining to the approval/recognition of a new fund to be used by the county treasurer to help pay for the cost of assessing property. Total fees will not be used in the final tax settlement proration for the cost of operating the Assessor’s office.
• A variance to the county’s floodplain ordinance for property in the 2000 block of Highway 84 in Amity was approved.
According to John Robinson, Clark County 911 Coordinator, the property owner has a deer camp in a floodplain.
“This was built some time ago. It is below the base floodplain elevation. It’s totally economically unfeasible to raise it to the height it needs to be,” Robinson explained.
• Clark County Judge Troy Tucker reported that three county entities received grants through the Arkansas Rural Community Grant Program's Cycle II.
The City of Wheelen Springs received $8,000, while the Clark County Fair Association was awarded $4,000. The DeGray Fire Department was given $13,847.39.
• Justices approved a purchase for new tasers for full-time deputies and several jail staff members.