Solugen building 500,000-square-foot biomanufacturing facility adjacent to ADM’s existing corn complex.

October 31, 2023

3 Min Read

Solugen, a rapidly scaling climate technology company that is reimagining the chemistry of everyday life, and ADM announced this week a strategic partnership to scale a range of innovative, plant-based specialty chemicals and bio-based building block molecules in a new manufacturing facility in Marshall, Minnesota.

Under the terms of the agreement, Solugen will build a new 500,000-square-foot biomanufacturing facility adjacent to ADM’s existing corn complex in Marshall. The facility will utilize ADM-provided dextrose to scale its current line of lower-carbon organic acids and develop new, innovative molecules to replace existing fossil fuel-based materials. The companies also plan to collaborate on commercialization opportunities of these biomaterials for a range of applications including energy, water treatment, agriculture, construction materials, cleaning, personal care, and more.

“The strategic partnership with ADM will allow Solugen to bring our chemienzymatic process to a commercial scale and meet existing customer demand for our high-performance, cost-competitive, sustainable products,” said Gaurab Chakrabarti, co-founder and chief executive officer of Solugen. “As one of the few scaled-up and de-risked biomanufacturing assets in the country, Solugen’s Bioforge platform is helping bolster domestic capabilities and supply chains that are critical in ensuring the U.S. reaches its ambitious climate targets.”

Leveraging a first-of-its-kind combination of computationally engineered enzymes and metal catalysts, Solugen’s Bioforge converts plant-derived substances into essential materials that have traditionally been made from fossil fuels. The high efficiency and scalability of Solugen’s process can offer a significant reduction in carbon footprint compared with conventional ingredients.

“Sustainability is one of the enduring global trends powering ADM’s growth and underpinning the strategic evolution of our Carbohydrate Solutions business,” said Chris Cuddy, president of ADM’s Carbohydrate Solutions business. “ADM is one of the largest dextrose producers in the world, and this strategic partnership will allow us to further diversify our product stream as we continue to support plant-based solutions spanning sustainable packaging, pharma, plant health, construction, fermentation, and home and personal care.”

Solugen plans to begin offsite construction this year and on-site construction in early 2024. The initial phase, which is scheduled to start up in the first half of 2025, is expected to create at least 40 permanent jobs and another 100 temporary construction jobs during commissioning.

“The initial phase of the project will significantly increase Solugen’s manufacturing capacity, which is critical for commercializing our existing line of molecules and kicks off plans for a multi-phase large-scale U.S. Bioforge buildout,” said Sean Hunt, co-founder and chief technology officer of Solugen. “The increase in capacity will also free up our Houston operation for research and development efforts into additional molecules and market applications.”

With a robust and cost-competitive supply of corn, alongside advanced corn-to-dextrose conversion technology, Marshall is the ideal location to support the scale of Solugen’s products. The city boasts a vibrant community, a pool of skilled workforce, and a proactive approach from local and regional governments, all eager to welcome innovative, high-tech industries.

"As a community with a strong foundation of agriculture and innovation, we look forward to welcoming Solugen to Marshall. This industry-leading facility will serve as a powerful economic driver for the city, creating new jobs and diversifying our industry,” said City of Marshall Mayor Bob Byrnes. "We are thankful for ADM’s longstanding commitment and impact to Marshall, which has paved the way for this remarkable partnership and continues to further economic growth to our region."

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