Some of Georgia’s poorest areas will benefit from $27 million in grants and loans awarded Dec. 15 by the OneGeorgia Authority Board.

The awards stem from the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement of 1998, which created the OneGeorgia Authority to distribute one-third of the state’s settlement over a 25-year period to the disadvantaged areas.

They are based on incentive packages drawing companies to the state and to the needs of rural Georgia communities to compete against other states for company relocations or expansions.

Among the foreign companies to benefit from the grants announced by Gov. Sonny Perdue during a ceremony at the Heart of Georgia Technical College in Dublin, Ga., are:

Georgia Biomass LLC, a fuel pellet manufacturing facility owned by the German utility RWE AG; Bombardier Services Corp., a business unit of the Canadian manufacturer Bombardier Inc.; Firth Rixson Forgings LLC, a wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary of the British company Firth Rixson Ltd.;

Mage Solar USA LLC, part of the globally operating MAGE GROUP, which is based in Germany and Pilgrim’s Price Corp., which emerged from bankruptcy at the end of 2009 with financial assistance from Brazilian-owned JBS USA Holding Inc.

Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. is to receive $7.5 million to assist with the expansion of its Savannah facilities. Gulfstream is a wholly-owned subsidiary of General Dynamics Corp. and its aircraft are bought by businesses and governments around the world.

A $342,743 grant is to be used to assist with rail improvements to support the located of Georgia Biomass, which is to construct a new plant on a 315-acre site in the Waycross-Ware County Industrial Park.

The facility is to manufacture fuel pellets that are to be shipped by rail from the Waycross facility to the Savannah port and then on to Europe.

An $800,000 grant is to be used to build improvements and purchase equipment for Bombardier’s new aircraft service facility in Macon.

The Tradeport East Business Center near Hinesville in Liberty County is to receive $1 million to assist with site preparation in support of the development of a 26.4-acre site for Firth Rixson, which is to produce seamless rolled rings for the aerospace market.

The city of Hinesville also is to receive a grant of $500,000 to assist with the construction of a 1,500-seat amphitheater for cultural events being developed by the city and Liberty County.

Mage Solar is to receive $1.25 million to assist with the development of its North American headquarters and production facility for photovoltaic modules in Dublin. The company also plans to build an academy for solar education to promote solar knowledge and training. Its operations are anticipated to create 350 jobs in five years.

A grant of $4 million is to be used to assist with the re-opening of a Pilgrim’s Pride chicken processing facility in Douglas. The Douglas facility is to process 1.3 million chickens weekly and export its products to more than 90 countries.

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