Panda Biotech will get funding for hemp plant

Panda Biotech has secured funding for its hemp decortication processing plant to be located in Wichita Falls.

The plant, located in the former Delphi automotive plant on I-44, will be financed in part with proceeds from the sale of up to $85 million tax-exempt green bonds issued by the Mission Economic Development Corporation. The company announced Monday Citigroup Global Markets Inc., will act as underwriter of the bonds which are expected to be marketed in December.

Panda had been scheduled to request an extension of a $1 million loan from Wichita Falls at Tuesday’s City Council meeting, but withdrew the request. The company received an incentive package from the city in exchange for creating at least 50 jobs. Panda president Dixie Carter has said she expects the number to be closer to 100.

Carter told the Times Record News Thursday she expects the plant to be operational in October. The plant will convert hemp stalk into materials that can be used for everything from animal bedding to textiles.