IPP&T Magazine Online

Biodegradable plastic company announces fermentation facility

September 25, 2018  

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Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin today announced Danimer Scientific, a manufacturer of biodegradable and compostable plastic products, will locate a fermentation facility in Winchester with a $36.2 million investment, creating 37 full-time jobs.

“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-square-foot former Alltech algae building in Winchester. The company will use the fermentation plant to produce its proprietary Nodax polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) material. Nodax 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 per cent 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 Nodax 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 Nodax 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.”