CJ Bio America eyes growth locally

Company’s Webster County plant helps region prosper

CJ Bio America is an important part of the economic boom that is transforming Fort Dodge and Webster County. Its already significant positive impact on the local economy may be about to increase. Sought-for government actions to make it attractive for the company to invest $51 million in a facility expansion locally have been obtained.

The company has been awarded approximately $1 million in tax credits from the Iowa Economic Development Authority. This development will make more attractive to corporate leaders a decision to add capabilities to the Fort Dodge facility to manufacture an additional amino acid product.

The IEDA’s action coupled with support recently approved by the Webster County Board of Supervisors means that the proposed expansion has an improved chance of gaining final corporate approval. The board pledged to provide tax rebates for three years on the expansion’s property tax — an incentive estimated at $822,888 total.

“It’s a good step toward completion of the project, to get the final approval of the project,” said CJ Bio America General Affairs Manager Luke Palmer in reaction to the positive governmental decisions. “Based on the incentives available, our headquarters in Seoul has the final say. This allows us to be as competitive as possible.”

CJ Bio America Inc. is a subsidiary of CJ Cheiljedang, a South Korean conglomerate. CJ Bio America falls within its biopharma segment and was founded in the U.S. in 2011 in Fort Dodge as a flagship for the company’s North American bio business. At the local plant, the company currently produces lysine, an essential amino acid, with a primary target of swine and poultry growers.

The Messenger applauds the efforts by private and public sector leaders in our community and state that are helping make Webster County an attractive place to do business. The competition for corporate investments is robust. Our community has a commitment to creating a welcoming business environment for CJ Bio America and other companies. We look forward to CJ Bio America’s long-term presence here and would be delighted to see the proposed plant expansion take place.