The Georgia Environmental Protection Division recently announced its intent to issue PyraMax Ceramics LLC two air-quality permits for building and operating a ceramic proppant manufacturing facility near Wrens.
EPD is accepting written public comments on the permits, and a public meeting and hearing are scheduled for Jan. 17 at 6:30 p.m. at the Wrens Council chamber.
The plant will use kaolin to produce
ceramic proppant, tiny balls of baked clay that are used in hydraulic fracture operations.
Millions of pounds of this material is pumped into fractures to prop fissures apart, allowing resources such as natural gas and oil to be extracted.
The company will mine kaolin from a site on Georgia Highway 88 between Sandersville and Wrens.
If the final air permit is issued within the next 45 days, construction could begin in the first quarter of 2012, said Don Anschutz, the president of PyraMax Ceramics.
“We’re talking 300-plus construction jobs and related expenses over the next 18 months,” he said. “We’ll be using local subcontractors. Once operational, the plant will have 60 full-time positions that pay between $15 and $30 an hour.”