CLINTON -- Biochemtex will be locating its new cellulosic biofuels production operations in Sampson County. The company and its partners plan to create 65 new jobs and invest approximately $200 million over the next three years.
“Biochemtex’s decision is further proof that the biofuels industry is positioned for growth across our state,” said Governor Pat McCrory in a press release announcing the company's plans. “We have the qualified talent, strong business climate, and attractive quality of life that companies need to succeed. We also have the agricultural capacity and flexibility to provide profitable energy crop options for North Carolina farmers and cost advantaged cellulosic feedstocks for Biochemtex and the advanced biofuels industry.”
Biochemtex is a global technology solution provider specialized in biofuels and renewable chemicals. Biochemtex will operate in North Carolina as Carolina Cellulosic Biofuels, which was established in early 2013 as a Special Purpose vehicle for delivering the first commercial scale cellulosic bio-refinery utilizing purpose grown energy crops in North America. This new plant will produce 20 million gallons per year of cellulosic biofuel from locally grown energy crops, agricultural residues, and woody biomass.
“Cellulosic Biofuels development is bringing new jobs to eastern North Carolina,” said Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker. “Governor McCrory and I are committed to partnering with companies like Biochemtex to create jobs right here in Sampson County and throughout rural North Carolina.”
Salaries will vary by job function, but the average annual wage for the new jobs will be approximately $47,000 plus benefits. The Sampson County average annual wage is $30,822.
“Biochemtex is excited to bring our PROESA® technology platform and our partners to eastern North Carolina," said Guido Ghisolfi, CEO and owner of Biochemtex. “We’ve already engaged with regional farms and farmers for the supply of energy crops and we see great opportunity for growth and additional projects where regional infrastructure matches need.”
The project was made possible in part by a performance-based grant from the One North Carolina Fund of up to $300,000. The One NC Fund provides financial assistance, through local governments, to attract business projects that will stimulate economic activity and create new jobs in the state. Companies receive no money up front and must meet job creation and investment performance standards to qualify for grant funds. These grants also require and are contingent upon local matches.
“Biochemtex and various state organizations have worked long and hard on this major development utilizing sustainable new technologies and cellulosic energy crops and I’m thrilled to have the new jobs, corresponding agricultural demand and capital investment for eastern North Carolina,” said Senator Brent Jackson.
“I applaud the hard work that was done at making this jobs announcement a reality,” said Representative Larry Bell. “Our job-ready workforce will serve Biochemtex well, and together we will boost Eastern North Carolina’s economy.”
Other partners that helped with this project include: the N.C. Department of Commerce, N.C. Community Colleges, Sampson County Economic Development Corporation, Sampson County, City of Clinton, N.C. Department of Agriculture, NCSU – N.C. Cooperative Extension and the Biofuels Center of North Carolina.