Freedom Energy Opts for Morristown for New Plant

You snooze, you lose.

Bernie Rice, the CEO of Freedom Energy, went to the Cumberland County Industrial Development Board earlier this month with a proposal to build a plant to convert coal into diesel fuel in the county industrial park. Cumberland County and area county officials raised questions about the project and the board voted to wait and gather more information.

Rice told the board that while the county was the first choice, they wanted to move quickly and did have a backup plan.

What Cumberland County didn’t know is that opportunistic recruiters in Morristown had already contacted the company when they heard about delays in the Cumberland County project and nailed down a deal. They showed the company a brownfield site with the infrastructure in place on a railroad line.

Freedom Energy announced this week it will build a $400 million plant in Morristown to provide 450 jobs. The company says it already has customers to buy all the diesel the plant produces. We wonder if anybody in state government knew of a company that buys a lot of diesel and put them in touch.

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