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State's final payment to Delphi awaiting action by company

By M.J. Ellington (334) 262-1104

MONTGOMERY — More than 18 months after the deadline for the state to pay Delphi Corp. the final installment on incentives to keep its Limestone County plant open, the state has not approved the payment.

Gov. Bob Riley's communications director, Jeff Emerson, said Monday that no more money between the state and bankrupt Delphi has changed hands. The automotive parts manufacturer's corporate decisions may affect whether the original plan between the state and Delphi ever reaches a conclusion.

Delphi filed for bankruptcy March 31 and announced plans to sell or close all but eight of its U.S. plants. The Limestone facility, the county's largest employer, and two other Alabama plants were among those set for sale or closure.

The Limestone plant makes parts for the Hyundai Santa Fe made at the Korean automotive company's Montgomery plant. When Delphi announced bankruptcy, state officials and Delphi said they hoped to find a buyer for the facility.

In 2002, when Don Siegelman was governor, the state gave the company incentives that included purchasing Plant 22 and 121 acres at the Limestone facility for up to $15 million.

The final incentive payment was due in spring 2005, but the state delayed the payment pending conditions that Dephi has to meet.

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