An expanded CJ Bio Americaplant in Webster County will begin producing 20,000 metric tons of anotheramino acid beginning next year, company leaders announced Wednesday.
Thenew initiative will lead to about 18 additional jobs being created inproduction and production support, according to Luke Palmer, the company’sgeneral affairs manager.
Thecompany had announced a $51 million expansion project in November. OnWednesday, it unveiled details of the project.
CJBio America will begin producing L-Threonine, which is an amino acid used as anadditive in livestock feed.
Theplant in the industrial park west of Fort Dodge called Iowa’s Crossroads ofGlobal Innovation already makes the amino acid lysine, which is used in feedfor poultry and swine. The plant also makes liquid fertilizer.
Theinitial output of L-Threonine will be 20,000 metric tons, according to anannouncement from the company. Palmer said the L-Threonine will be in powderform.
Somenew facilities will be needed to produce the L-Threonine.
“We will build additional structures that will holdadditional processing equipment,” Palmer said.
Hesaid the new buildings will be on land the company already owns. They will belocated south of the existing plant. Palmer said the plant site was designed tomake expansion possible.
Detaileddesign of the new facilities is being completed. Construction is expected tostart in the second quarter of this year.
Productionis expected to start in mid 2019.
“We are excited to make this additional investment toservice our growing business in the North American market,” Joe Lucas, the vice president and managing director ofCJ Bio America, said in a written statement. “This is consistent with ourglobal strategy to invest in all key amino acids for both the food and feedmarkets.”
CJBio America is part of CJ CheilJedang, based in South Korea.
Thelocal plant takes dextrose from the nearby Cargill plant and uses it to makeits products.
Productionat the plant began on Nov. 1, 2013.
About180 people work there.
Theexisting plant, which is the company’s first production facility in NorthAmerica, cost about $323 million. The upcoming expansion will boost thecompany’s local investment to about $400 million.