VOL. 131 | NO. 238 | Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Cargill, Calysta To Build New Facility in Memphis
By Patrick Lantrip
Cargill’s 69-acre property on President’s Island, which has remained dormant for nearly two years, will be the home of a new manufacturing facility that will create 75 new jobs.
Cargill closed the doors to its corn milling plant in 2015, but now the site will be home to the world’s largest gas fermentation plant thanks to a partnership with Calysta.
(Daily News File/Andrew J. Breig)
The new joint venture between Cargill, Calysta Inc. and third-party investors plans to convert the former corn mill into the world’s largest gas fermentation facility, according to an announcement by Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd.
“Calysta is very pleased to be joining in this new venture with Cargill in Memphis to open the first U.S. manufacturing plant for FeedKind protein,” Calysta President and CEO Alan Shaw, said in a release. “We look forward to partnering with the city of Memphis and the state of Tennessee to bring the next generation of sustainable aquaculture products to market.”
FeedKind is a non-animal source of protein produced from microbes that are naturally found in soil. During the gas fermentation process, which is similar to making yeast, the microbes produce a sustainable, high-protein alternative feed ingredient for fish, livestock and pet nutritional products.
In 2014, Cargill announced it was closing its corn milling facility due to underutilization and its location away from the Corn Belt. The Daily News reported later that year that only about 50 of the 440 workers who were employed would remain in Memphis at a smaller location.
At the time Cargill was Memphis, Light, Gas and Water’s largest single water customer. The closure resulted in $1.8 million in lost revenue and an eventual 22 percent water rate hike to offset the losses.
But now the new partnership between Cargill and Menlo Park, California-based Calysta hopes to breathe new life into the area with the construction of a state-of-the-art facility.
“Cargill has been a part of the Memphis community for 40 years,” Cargill’s Global Vice President of Bioindustrial Brian Silvey said in the same release. “With the strong support of the state of Tennessee, Shelby County and city of Memphis, we are pleased that the venture chose to locate the facility in Memphis.”
Construction on the new facility is expected to be completed by the end of 2018 and hiring will begin in mid-2017.