Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. (MBI) celebrated the official opening of its Marrone Michigan Manufacturing (M3) facility last week with a ribbon cutting ceremony and plant tours.
The M3 facility is a wholly-owned subsidiary of MBI. Acquired in July 2012, the original site included an existing building of 11,400 square feet and 12 acres of land. The first phase of construction at the M3 plant enlarged the facility's size by 6,600 square feet, adding fermentation capacity.
On June 4, 2014, MBI announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture Business and Industry (B&I) Guaranteed Loan program approved a guarantee for a $10 million loan financing. The loan has been funded by Five Star Bank, and will be used to help MBI with expansions at the M3 facility that will provide additional production capacity and bring more skilled labor jobs to the region.
Phase 2 and Phase 3 expansions are planned through 2017 and will amplify capacity to meet manufacturing needs for the growing MBI product family.
When purchasing the facility MBI recognized the location contained the infrastructure needed for planned manufacturing processes and provided ready access to transportation services while being ideally located in an area with a highly skilled, educated workforce for filling needed technical, operational and management positions.
Currently three MBI product lines are being produced at the M3 facility: Regalia, Regalia Rx, which are biofungicides; Grandevor, which is a bioinsecticide; and Zequanox, which is a biomolluscicide to control invasive zebra and quagga mussels.
The grand opening event featured a plant tour highlighting the benefits of MBI's bio-based products for pest management and plant health and giving attendees a firsthand look at the updates and expansions to the production facility. Speakers at the ribbon cutting event included:
- Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture
- Administrator Lillian Salerno, USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service
- Director James Turner, State Director, USDA-Rural Development
- Senator John Proos and Representative Aric Nesbitt, Michigan Senate and House of Representatives
- Mayor Nick Householder, Mayor of Bangor, Michigan
- Dr. Pamela Marrone, CEO and Founder, Marrone Bio Innovations
Administrator Salerno, who oversees the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS) and administers the RBS $10.7 billion guaranteed loan portfolio, highlighted the recent USDA approval of a $10 million loan guarantee to support the M3 expansion in Bangor, Michigan. Salerno added, "Bio-manufacturing facilities like the M3 plant opening we are celebrating today are instrumental to bringing high-quality, good-paying jobs to rural communities. By working together, we are showing that rural communities can compete and thrive in the growing bio-based economy."
Closing the event, MBI CEO, Pamela Marrone, Ph.D., said, "With today's official opening of M3, Southwest Michigan is positioned at the forefront of a growing global movement to firmly establish biologically based technologies as the foundation in agriculture, turf, ornamental and water treatment markets. As the world looks for answers to sustainably feed nine billion people, M3 and Southwest Michigan will be providing safe, smart and effective solutions to big challenges confronting humanity and the environment."