Governor Walz Announces $213 Million to Build Sustainable Biomanufacturing Facility in Marshall Minnesota

Government and Politics

June 13, 2024

From: Minnesota Governor Timothy James Walz

ST. PAUL, MN - Governor Tim Walz today announced Minnesota has secured funding that will finance Bioforge Marshall LLC, a 500,000-square-foot biomanufacturing facility in Marshall, Minnesota. The plant, owned by Solugen, a climate technology company focused on minimizing carbon emissions, will utilize Minnesota grown corn to manufacture chemicals usually made from oil, resulting in significantly lower carbon emissions.

“This investment in sustainable manufacturing is a major win for Minnesota and a big step towards our goal of carbon free electricity by 2040,” said Governor Walz. “Solugen’s expansion will help reduce greenhouse gasses while creating jobs and placing Minnesota at the forefront of biotechnology and biomanufacturing. With this partnership we’re ensuring a greener future and putting Minnesota on the map as a great place to live, work, and raise a family.”

The project will be funded by a $213.6 million loan from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Loan Programs Office, the largest U.S. government investment in bioindustrial manufacturing since an Executive Order advancing biotechnology and biomanufacturing. An additional $15 million will come from the Minnesota Forward Fund, a new Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) program Governor Walz signed into law last year. The fund will invest $400 million in business growth in Minnesota and will provide matching funds for companies seeking federal resources like CHIPS Act, IRA and IIJA. This is the Minnesota Forward Fund's second award.

The facility will manufacture various organic acids for use in concrete, cleaning, agriculture, and energy industries. Current operations at Bioforge Houston have demonstrated an over 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared with conventional petroleum-based methods. Operations in Marshall are expected to reduce emissions equivalent to powering 3500 American homes annually. This project is expected to create up to 100 jobs during construction and 56 highly skilled, full-time manufacturing jobs once fully operational.

Bioforge Marshall LLC represents the first major Solugen expansion and the largest of their operations. Their expansion will include the development and implementation of a comprehensive community benefits plan including curriculum advisors for local students to provide training opportunities and internships.

Construction is expected to be completed by 2025.