FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 1, 2012) – Governor Steve Beshear today announced Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline will expand its presence in Owensboro, constructing a second facility for its headquarters expansion. The nearly $5.3 million project will help create up to 20 new jobs over the next few years.
"The expansion of Southern Star's headquarters operation in Owensboro is great news," Gov. Beshear said. "Not only does it add up to 20 new jobs and an almost $5.3 million investment in the community, but it also enhances Kentucky's reputation as an ideal place for a corporate headquarters. The Commonwealth is pleased to have played a role in helping make this growth possible and look forward to Southern Star's long-term success."
Southern Star is an interstate natural gas transmission and storage system spanning approximately 6,000 miles and serves customers in seven states. The Owensboro headquarters, located at 4700 Highway 56, currently employs 167 Kentuckians full-time. The expansion project, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year, will include additional office space, training and conference facilities and records storage in eastern Daviess County.
"The incentives provided by the Commonwealth help ensure we can continue to grow here," said Jerry Morris, president and chief executive officer for Southern Star. "We've found Owensboro to be a good location for our corporate headquarters. This community provides a great quality of life for our employees. From Owensboro, we are able to provide effective support to our Midwest-based customers and employees. We're proud to provide so many professional-level positions for the community and excited about adding to those numbers."
To encourage the investment in Owensboro, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $275,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the term of the agreement through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.
KEDFA also approved Southern Star for tax benefits up to $100,000 through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act, which allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development, and electronic processing equipment.
"Southern Star's presence in Owensboro is appreciated and significant," said Sen. Joe Bowen, of Owensboro. "The fact that they plan to invest more than $5 million and provide employment shows a commitment to our community."
"Southern Star has been a great asset to our community, so I'm certainly happy to see it decide to expand its headquarters," said Rep. Tommy Thompson, of Owensboro. "These are exactly the type of jobs the General Assembly and Gov. Beshear envisioned in 2009 when we revamped our economic development incentives – legislation I was proud to sponsor."
"Thank you Southern Star for your confidence in our community," said Daviess County Judge-Executive Al Mattingly. "This capital investment will create new good-paying jobs for our citizens, and the resulting increase in the tax base will help all concerned."
For more information on Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline, visit www.sscgp.com.
Information on Kentucky's economic development efforts and programs is available at www.ThinkKentucky.com. Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ThinkKentucky or follow on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/ThinkKentucky.
A detailed community profile for Owensboro (Daviess County) can be viewed at http://thinkkentucky.com/EDIS/cmnty/index.aspx?cw=044.