Farm Progress

Increased enzyme production capabilities through investment in Novozymes facility expected to grow Nebraska's bioscience industry.

May 23, 2017

3 Min Read
INVESTING IN BIOSCIENCE: Novozymes' $36 million investment in its Blair facility, which produces enzymes for renewable fuels, will increase the plant's capacity to meet growing needs within the bioscience sector and biofuels market.

Less than five years after Novozymes opened a state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing facility in Blair, Gov. Pete Ricketts announces that the company has selected the site for its most recent expansion efforts in North America. The company's new $36 million investment in the facility, which produces enzymes for renewable fuels, will increase the plant's capacity to meet growing needs within the bioscience industry and global biofuels market.

"Nebraska's biofuels industry has been a focus for my administration on trade missions because of the international investment we've seen here in Nebraska," says Ricketts. "Meeting face to face with Novozymes' CEO, Peder Holk Nielsen, not only allowed us to thank him for doing business in our state, but also allowed us to make the case for additional investment in Nebraska. Novozymes' recent investment in Blair is an example of the importance of trade missions and how this evolving industry is helping grow Nebraska."

In 2015, Ricketts visited Novozymes' headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark, to meet with senior executives, strengthen Nebraska's relations with the company and encourage further investment in the state. While there, the governor and his delegation had an opportunity to tour the facility that oversees the company's production of enzymes used in the agriculture, animal nutrition and biofuels industries. Ricketts pitched Nebraska's unique characteristics as an ideal location for the company's continued investment.

Since 2012, production capacity in Nebraska's biofuels industry increased by 7.8%. Nebraska is the No. 2 ethanol producer in the nation and produces more than 2 billion gallons annually, second only to Iowa. Nebraska, Iowa and Illinois produce nearly half of the 15.2 billion gallons of ethanol generated each year in the United States.

"With stable, clear policies like the Renewable Fuel Standard that encourage competition at the gas pump, we will continue to grow the market for American ethanol," says Adam Monroe, president of Novozymes Americas. "This means expanding facilities like ours here in Blair, adding jobs, and generating more revenue for American towns and workers by increasing domestic production of liquid transportation fuels."

The company has hired more than 100 local contractors to install additional production equipment and water cooling units at the facility, where work is underway. Company officials worked with both state and local economic development partners to expand in Blair, including the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED), Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) and Gateway Development Corp.

"Novozymes is one of Blair's most impactful corporate citizens. Its multimillion-dollar expansion represents another remarkable economic win for the Blair community, Washington County, and the state of Nebraska, solidifying our reputation as a major player in the bio-industry on a global level," says Lisa Scheve, executive director of Gateway Development, a member of the Greater Omaha Chamber Economic Development Partnership.

The company employs 6,200 worldwide, including 115 at the Blair facility.

"The community of Blair appreciates Novozymes' presence in our city, as well as efforts by corporate leaders to provide new opportunities for our diverse workforce," says Blair Mayor Jim Realph. "By expanding capabilities within the plant, this company is providing great incentives for skilled workers to stay in Nebraska."

Source: Nebraska Governor's Office.


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