Cargill and a German company are teaming up to build a chemical plant in Eddyville to make fabric.
“Cargill and Helm have formed a joint venture investing up to $300 million in this new facility in Eddyville to produce BDO from corn,” says Jon Veldhouse, Cargill’s business development manager for the project.
You’re probably wondering what BDO is. Veldhouse says it’s used to make something you might be wearing right now.
“Things like Spandex is really a common one,” he says. “When you think of Spandex as a generic term, but we also think of where it’s used as elastic in our shirts or in our socks or around the legs of a diaper, for example.”
Veldhouse says the new technology Cargill and Helm will be using will drastically reduce greenhouse gases.
“Instead of making BDO from things like petroleum or coal, now we’re going to be making it through corn sugars,” he says. “With that, we’re able to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions and CO2 production from those processes by up to 93%.”
Cargill expects construction on the new Eddyville facility to begin later this year and it should be up and running in 2024.
“Eddyville is clearly situated in a great situation relative to corn supply,” he says. “We have a fantastic group of people and talent to pull from with the background to operate a facility like this, as well as the supply chain and logistics to get BDO out and to our customers.”
Veldhouse says around 40 employees will be needed to operate the plant, with some new employees and others moved from Eddyville’s current Cargill plant.
(Reporting by Joe Lancello, KBOE, Oskaloosa)