- Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. said Monday it will build a 500,000 square-foot manufacturing facility in partnership with biotech firm Solugen, allowing the companies to produce sustainable materials for packaging, construction and other sectors.
- The facility, to be located next to ADM’s corn complex in Marshall, Minnesota, will use dextrose to scale production of the grain giant's lower-carbon organic acids. It will also produce plant-based substitutes for petroleum-based materials, according to the announcement, which did not include financial details.
- The companies plan to collaborate on the commercialization of the biomaterials for a range of applications including energy, water treatment, cleaning and personal care. On-site construction is set for early next year, and the plant's initial start-up phase is slated for the first half of 2025.
ADM has inked a series of collaborative agreements over the past year to build up its fast-growing BioSolutions platform, which develops sustainable materials to be used in biodiesel, fertilizers, and other products typically dependent on petrochemicals.
Revenue for ADM's BioSolutions segment grew 23% year-to-date, executives disclosed on a third quarter earnings call last week. The company has been focused on "extending into new applications" to capitalize on soaring growth, CFO Vikram Luthar said.
Biochemicals company Solugen produces biomaterials with low or no emissions or waste through a manufacturing process that combines engineered enzymes and metal catalysts. The partnership will allow Solugen to commercially scale its plant-based specialty chemicals and bio-based "building block molecules."
Solugen plans a multi-phase buildout of bio-based manufacturing facilities, which it calls Bioforges. The Minnesota plant will be Solugen's second Bioforge, and the added capacity will allow the firm to use its Houston operation for research and development efforts.
In addition to the deal with Solugen, ADM announced an agreement with LG Chem last August for two facilities in Decatur, Illinois, to meet demand for bioplastics. The company said last May its Carbohydrate Solutions business would significantly expand production of starch at the Marshall complex to support the plant-based products making up ADM's BioSolutions platform.
“Sustainability is one of the enduring global trends powering ADM’s growth and underpinning the strategic evolution of our Carbohydrate Solutions business,” Chris Cuddy, president of ADM’s Carbohydrate Solutions business, said in a statement. “[T]his strategic partnership will allow us to further diversify our product stream as we continue to support plant-based solutions.”