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$185 million energy project slated for Manatee

MANATEE — An alternative energy project planned for the area near Port Manatee could bring as many as 25 permanent jobs and 150 construction jobs, company officials said.

The $185 million project, announced by FB Energy of Bradenton, would involve a 60-megawatt electric generation facility that would use biomass — plant and animal material — to generate power, according to a press release from the company.

Construction could begin as early as December at the 53-acre site, located near Port Manatee in a specialized encouragement zone developed by members of the Port Authority and Manatee County Commission to attract new industry.

The facility could be up and running by 2012 and would sell its power to Progress Energy for distribution, company officials said.

The power plant would have to first receive planning and county approval, said Manatee County Commissioner Joe McClash.

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