A German company has announced an $80 million expansion of its operations in Blair.
Evonik Industries North American president, Tom Bates, announced during a news conference at the state Capitol that the specialty chemical company could have expanded anywhere in the world, but chose Nebraska.
“Frankly, you go back a couple of years and all anybody wanted to talk about biotechnology or bio-refinery was Brazil,” Bates said during the news conference in the governor’s hearing room. “But, we’ve changed that discourse. And I think it’s an important change. And that’s why I think this is significant, because this is probably our major investment in biotechnology and it’s here in North America.”
Evonik operates a production plant, warehouse and laboratories at the Blair Biotechnology Complex west of the Missouri River. The company employs 91 and will add ten employees with the expansion. The plant converts a corn byproduct into an amino acid added to hog and poultry feed.
Bates stated that the company could have expanded production anywhere in the world, but chose Nebraska.
Governor Heineman seized on Bates’ statement, emphasizing that Nebraska isn’t just competing with other states economically, but with all points on the globe.
“We are competing every day, globally, against Brazil, China, Singapore and other countries and other states and Nebraska won,” Heineman stated.