Governor Pat Quinn announced that LanzaTech, a company founded in New Zealand, will establish its global headquarters in Illinois. The move will generate 30 new Illinois jobs with employees transferred from New Zealand, and 35 additional employees will move from Roselle to the new site in Skokie during 2014. The new location also will serve as the company’s research and development center with a new investment of more than $17 million.
“LanzaTech is a shining example of Illinois’ emerging culture of clean tech innovation,” Governor Quinn said. “Illinois is home to approximately 3,500 biotech companies, and the Chicago area is one of the nation’s leading cities in clean tech research. It is the perfect place for LanzaTech’s global business to thrive.”
LanzaTech, which recently closed a $60 million fourth round of venture capital funding, has won numerous awards for its technology that captures and reuses waste carbon emissions for the production of fuels and chemicals.
The new corporate headquarters, which will include proprietary synthetic biology and gas fermentation science, will be at the Illinois Science and Technology Park in Skokie, a $500 million, 23-acre bioscience campus. LanzaTech will share a 160,000 square foot facility, occupying 41,000 square feet of lab and office space.
“Our success can be attributed to thinking and growing globally,” LanzaTech CEO Jennifer Holmgren said. “We have a broad product portfolio and global Fortune 500 partners across a variety of sectors. To accelerate commercialization, it is natural for us to relocate closer to capital markets, infrastructure, partners and customers. Chicago is an ideal location and we would like to thank Governor Quinn, his team and the Illinois government for their support during this process.”
To assist with the move, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) has approved tax credits for LanzaTech worth an estimated $1.1 million over the next 10 years. The credits against the company’s state income tax liability are available under the Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) program.
“No matter where in the world a company’s customer base might be, the advantages of Illinois are easy to see,” DCEO Director Adam Pollet said. “From its new home in Skokie, LanzaTech will be at the heart of North American commerce and innovation.”
LanzaTech, which will continue to have a presence in New Zealand, China, India and Europe, is the first company in the world to have produced fuel grade ethanol from steel mill off-gases. The company’s pre-commercial facility in China, which can produce ethanol at an annualized rate of 100,000 gallons per year, earned an internationally recognized sustainability certification from the Roundtable of Sustainable Biomaterials in 2013.
LanzaTech joins many other companies that have moved operations to Illinois since the start of 2013, including building materials company Lafarge SA, silver and gold producer Coeur d’Alene Mines Corp. and biopharmaceutical firm Durata Therapeutics.
Named one of America’s most promising companies by Forbes in 2013, LanzaTech has received numerous sustainability awards including being listed on the Sustainia 100 in 2013 and the Global Clean Tech 100 for the past three years. In 2013, it was ranked No. 2 in Biofuels Digest’s annual list of the 50 Hottest Companies in Bioenergy and No. 4 in its 30 Hottest Companies in Biobased Chemicals. Biofuels Digest is the most widely read media source globally for the renewable fuel and chemical industries and LanzaTech is one of only two companies to be ranked in the top five in both lists.