About 180 jobs are expected to be created in Fort Dodge, Iowa, where a South Korean company is building a $320 million facility that will turn corn products into amino acids for animal feeds.
Cheiljedang, which does business in the U.S. under the name CJ America, broke ground this week on the facility in an industrial park west of Fort Dodge. The company says it hopes to be up and running by December 2013, with a production capacity of 100,000 metric tons of lysine — an amino acid — per year.
The planned facility is located near an ethanol plant operated by Cargill, which will “supply raw materials, mainly sugars for the amino acid production process,” according to an announcement from CJ America. The company says overall U.S. demand for lysine is 350,000 metric tons per year.
The Fort Dodge facility is CJ America’s first production plant in the United States.
CEO Kim Chul-Ha said in a statement that his company is looking to become the top lysine producer in the world.
“We have to target the U.S. market to grab the top position in the global bio-market,” he said.
Several state and local officials attended a groundbreaking ceremony in Fort Dodge this week, including U.S. Rep Steve King, who said in a statement that the company will help add value to Iowa-grown corn.
“Having worked six years to pass the South Korean Free Trade Agreement, I’m happy to see our relationships are paying dividends,” he said.
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