Officials gathered in Eddyville for the ceremonial start of construction of a $300 million chemical plant that will use corn to make fabric and other materials.
The project is a joint venture of Cargill and HELM, a chemical company based in Germany. Their new company’s called Qore (pronounced like the word core) and the plant will produce a chemical called Qira. Kaye DeLange, one of the new company’s board of directors, says Qira isn’t a new chemical.
But it uses an innovative process starting from corn sugar,” she says, “so instead of making butanediol from fossil fuels and pulling coal from the ground, this is made from carbon dioxide pulled from the air.”
According to the company, Qira will be a chemical that cuts up to 93 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. The chemical is used to manufacture things like spandex, soles for sports shoes and insulation.
Governor Kim Reynolds, who attended the groundbreaking Tuesday, says Eddyville is the perfect spot for Qore’s plant.
“We have the corn stock, we have the innovation, we have the workforce, we have the manufacturing–it’s the largest sector of our GDP. It makes so much sense that they’ve chosen this small little state in the heartland of America and this small town that’s doing big things,” Reynolds said.
Governor Reynolds also visited businesses in Centerville, Agency and Fairfield on Tuesday.
(By Joe Lancello, KBOE, Oskaloosa)