Genencor opens Iowa research center

By Kris Bevill | September 15, 2009
Report posted Sept. 18, 2009, at 3:46 p.m. CST

Enzyme developer Genencor, a division of Danisco A/S, recently completed a $52 million project to expand its Cedar Rapids, Iowa, enzyme manufacturing plant and add a grain processing application center to the facility. The company held a grand opening event Sept. 16 which was attended by nearly 200 people, including Iowa Gov. Chet Culver, who applauded the company for bringing jobs to Iowa.

"This is proof positive that good things are happening in Iowa in terms of job creation and economic growth," Culver said. "Genencor chose our state for reasons we are all familiar with: our high quality of life and our excellent work ethic."

"This facility represents our tremendous commitment to fuel ethanol producers and carbohydrates processors," Danisco CEO Tom Knutzen said. "We announced this investment more than a year ago, and today we're joining our customers, employees and supporters to celebrate its completion."

The 20,000-square-foot Grain Processing Applied Innovation Center will allow Genencor's fuel alcohol and carbohydrates processing customers to work on solutions to real-world challenges, according to company spokeswoman Jennifer Hutchins. The adjacent enzyme manufacturing facility was expanded to 140,000-square-feet. Progress of the project was not affected by the recent downturn in the ethanol industry, according to Hutchins. "In fact, our grain processing business has been doing very well and experienced healthy growth this past quarter," she added. "Genencor announced that expansion more than a year ago and has followed through as planned."