Terry McAuliffe — the businessman and one-time gubernatorial candidate candidate — is inching closer to taking over International Paper’s Franklin mill, the closed factory, and convert it to a renewable-energy plant.
McAuliffe, who is considering another run for governor in 2013, announced Tuesday that his company is evaluating whether wood-pellet production would be feasible at the plant in Isle of Wight County.
The venture could result in more than 100 jobs.
Franklin Pellets LLC, is a partnership between CMI, an investment firm owned by McAuliffe and Peter O’Keefe, and MultiFuels a privately owned energy development firm based in Houston, Texas.
“I want to applaud the site owner’s decision to explore options for the site in Franklin,” McAuliffe said. “It is essential to create new jobs in the local community and at the port. This investment and these jobs are part of a clean energy future.”
International Paper Co. had employed 1,100 people. McAuliffe is also interested in other ventures at the shuttered plant.