FRANKFORT, Ky. — Danimer Scientific, a manufacturer of biodegradable and compostable plastic products, will locate a fermentation facility in Winchester with a $36.2 million investment and create 37 full-time jobs, Gov. Matt Bevin announced Tuesday.
“Danimer Scientific is a true innovator within the plastics industry, and we are proud they have selected Kentucky for this exciting new venture,” Gov. Bevin said. “The company’s decision to locate here is a strong endorsement of the community of Winchester as well as the commonwealth’s overall business climate. We congratulate both Danimer Scientific and Clark County on this promising partnership, and we look forward to a bright future of shared success.”
Danimer Scientific’s leaders plan to purchase and revitalize the 88,000-s.f. former Alltech algae building on Rolling Hills Lane in Winchester. The company will use the fermentation plant to produce its proprietary Noda polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) material. Noda PHA is a biopolymer that can be used to manufacture a vast array of versatile, biodegradable plastic products, including drinking straws, food packaging, cups, bottles, shopping bags, plates, trash bags, labels and more. The material is compostable, 100 percent bio-based and biodegradable in anaerobic, soil, fresh water and marine environments.
Work could begin next month and company leaders aim to start operations in the fourth quarter of 2019.
The production of Danimer’s Noda PHA begins with fermentation where canola oil is consumed by soil bacteria and converted into PHA, which is then processed into a powder form. The powder will be transported to the company’s Bainbridge, Ga. facility and combined with other biopolymers to manufacture biodegradable plastic resins.
“This facility marks a major milestone for our company,” Danimer Scientific CEO Stephen Croskrey said. “It will be the world’s first PHA commercial production plant, positioning us to provide our Noda PHA biodegradable plastic material for a wide variety of applications, from food packaging to drinking straws and more. Kentucky’s state resources and strong local workforce have provided us with a significant leg up in getting this project off the ground.”
Danimer Scientific develops sustainable, eco-friendly methods to produce plastic products, including biodegradable and compostable materials, with its renewable biopolymers. Danimer Scientific and its team members offer a comprehensive selection of biodegradable plastics for residential and business use. The company and its subsidiaries currently own more than 125 patents in nearly 20 countries for a range of manufacturing processes and biopolymer formulations.
Sen. Ralph Alvarado, of Winchester, said the employment opportunities will benefit the local workforce.
“I’m pleased to hear that Danimer Scientific has chosen Winchester as the home for its new fermentation facility,” Sen. Alvarado said. “The creation of 37 new full-time jobs is welcome news to the people of Clark County.”
Rep. Donna Mayfield, of Winchester, said she hopes to see other companies follow in Danimer’s footsteps and locate in Clark County.
“Winchester welcomes Danimer Scientific with open arms,” Rep. Mayfield said. “The jobs the company will provide will be of great benefit to Clark County and I’m glad to see more businesses establish roots in Winchester.”
Winchester Mayor Ed Burtner said the company makes a great fit for the city, which will benefit from Danimer’s job creation and investment.
“Winchester is committed to attracting world class industry to the community. Danimer Scientific is no exception,” Mayor Ed Burtner said. “The careers they will offer, the wages they will pay, the investment, and the product they manufacture will be deeply impactful.”
Clark County judge-executive Henry Branham welcomed the company.
“We are so pleased Danimer chose Clark County as their location to manufacture, what is really a world changing product,” Branham said. “Our community continues to work together to keep and attract quality industry.”
To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in August preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $1.5 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the agreement term through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.
Additionally, KEDFA approved Danimer Scientific for up to $175,000 in tax incentives through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA). KEIA allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing.
Danimer Scientific also can receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies can receive no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job training incentives. In fiscal year 2017, the Kentucky Skills Network provided training for more than 120,000 Kentuckians and 5,700 companies from a variety of industry sectors.
For more information on Danimer Scientific, visit www.DanimerScientific.com.