Valent to build manufacturing plant in Iowa
More than 100 trade representatives descended upon Osage, Iowa, last week as part of the bidding process surrounding construction of the new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility for Illinois-based Valent BioSciences Corporation.
The company received the building permit on January 3rd for the $146 million facility that will bring more than 500 workers and 89 permanent jobs to the Osage area.
Groundbreaking is slated for March 16th of this year, with construction running for the next two years.
The new plant will be the first ever full-scale manufacturing facility designed and constructed specifically for production of biorational products. Biorationals are derived from natural or biological origins and used in agricultural, public health, and forestry applications.
"We're obviously very pleased thus far with our progress in Iowa," says Mike Donaldson, Valent BioSciences President and CEO, noting that the project remains ahead of schedule. "Highly effective and efficient tools for agriculture are an important part of our future, and this new facility will help us to meet the needs of a growing population. This is the largest and most important investment ever made not only by our company, but also for the biorational products industry as a whole. It's great to see our excitement being shared in and around Osage."
Brenda Dryer, Executive Director of the Mitchell County Economic Development Commission (MCEDC), says the project will bring with it high demand for a variety of products and services. As many as 300 workers are expected to be on site by September. MCEDC has launched an online database of local service providers and temporary housing to meet the workers' needs.
Iowa Governor Terry Branstad says all the agencies involved are committed to making sure Valent BioSciences knows it made the right choice in choosing Osage to be the new facility's home.
"Obviously this facility is a win for our local economy," Branstad says, "but we also recognize how important it is to promote sustainable industries that contribute to communities on a larger scale. We're proud to say that we're meeting all of the state and local requirements, and are doing so expeditiously."
January's event was organized by the Chicago-based Gilbane Building Co., which will manage construction of the 130,000 square-foot facility. Subcontractors from all over the country came to Iowa to gain an introduction both to the bidding process and to Gilbane, Valent BioSciences, and Middough Inc., the plant's architectural and engineering firm.
When complete, production at the 73-acre site will include microbial products as well as plant growth regulators and other biorational products for agriculture and public health. The plant is expected to being online by mid-2014.