IN: Swiss AgTech Company Comes to Indiana, Creating 250 Jobs
9 May, 2019
Cormo USA Inc., which utilizes technology to turn corn field waste into sustainable products, announced plans to establish operations in Rushville, creating up to 250 new, high-wage jobs by the end of 2023.
“Indiana’s economy is increasingly global, and we are excited to welcome yet another international company to the Hoosier state,” Governor Eric J. Holcomb said. “With strong roots in agriculture and a flourishing tech sector, Indiana is the perfect destination for innovative companies like Cormo USA to locate as they work to develop and refine critical solutions.”
The company, which was incorporated as a joint venture between Switzerland-based Cormo AG and Florida-based Sustainable Projects Group Inc. in 2018, will invest approximately $29.5 million to establish its first U.S. production plant in Indiana, constructing and equipping a state-of-the-art facility on 10 acres in the Commerce Park at Rushville. The new facility, which the company plans to break ground on this summer, will process maize straw from up to 150,000 acres of corn fields each year into a 100 percent sustainable peat moss substitute (TEFA) for agricultural uses and into foam products (BABS) for material science uses. This patented process has been utilized at the company’s pilot plant in France since 2016.
“Indiana, and particularly Rush County, offers the perfect combination of entrepreneurial spirit, hardworking talent and agriculture which is mission critical for our company,” stated Stefan Muehlbauer, president of the Board at Cormo USA. “After an extensive site search across corn-producing states, Cormo USA is looking forward to the next phase of the company’s evolution. We are especially grateful for the knowledgeable team at the IEDC and the support of Mayor Mike Pavey in Rushville as well as his team. They have shown exceptional professionalism and shared our commitment to not just an environmentally- but also an economically-sustainable future. “
To support its growth, Cormo USA plans to begin hiring for plant operations and management positions in the next three to four months, with additional positions added in logistics, scientific testing and marketing in 2020. New positions are expected to offer average salaries 50 percent above the state’s average wage.
“This is an extraordinary addition to the Rush County community," said Rushville Mayor Mike Pavey. “We have world-class manufacturing in Rushville, yet Rush County is an agricultural county. Cormo USA will add an agricultural piece to those world-class operations. They not only benefit the employment base of the county, but will also offer income opportunities to Rush County farmers as well as farmers in surrounding counties.”
A pilot production plant based in Alsace, France, has successfully, and on an industrial scale, been able to turn corn field waste into sustainable products. Cormo is expanding into the United States in order to expand its high-technology business, leveraging the country’s significantly larger corn production volume and contributing to positive economic and sustainable developments.
Subject to approval of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) Board of Directors, the IEDC will offer Cormo USA up to $3.5 million in conditional tax credits based on the company’s job creation plans. These incentives are performance-based, meaning the company is not eligible to receive incentives until jobs are created. The city of Rushville is considering additional incentives.
Cormo USA joins a network of more than 950 international business establishments operating in Indiana, including 38 Swiss businesses, including Autoneum, Nestlé, Kuehne + Nagel, Roche and UGN. Gov. Holcomb has led four economic development trips to Europe, which accounts for nearly 60 percent of Indiana's more than 190,900 jobs supported by foreign direct investment, during his tenure as governor, visiting Switzerland in 2018.
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