The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Local News

March 9, 2010

ADM: Plastics plant now operating

CLINTON — After four years of construction, the first-of-its kind biodegradable plastics plant located in Clinton is now operational and could begin shipping commercial goods next month, Archer Daniels Midland officials said Monday.

John Morrison, plant manager, said test runs have been conducted at the facility since December and the plant would be in full operation this summer.

At full capacity, the plant will produce 50,000 tons per year of a natural plastic, called Mirel, using starch from ADM’s wet corn mill as raw materials.

“To be part of a new plant that's first-of-its-kind in the world is really a lifetime opportunity for most of us,” said Kevin Moore, ADM Bio-Products General Manager.

For Clinton, the opening of the plant means 125 new full-time jobs and a large economic investment to the region, but the announcement also has significance globally.

Producers of the product have said Mirel will help reduce dependence on foreign oil and provide a market for corn.

According to Debra Darby, director of Marketing Communications for Telles, which is the name of the joint venture between ADM and Metabolix, Mirel will be marketed for use in compost bags, agriculture and horticulture, consumer products — including gift cards, personal care and food service ware — as well as marine applications and business equipment.

“The global demand for bioplastics continues to grow,” Darby said. “The new production facility in Clinton is starting up at the right time to help meet this growing demand.”

ADM, based in Decatur, Ill., partnered with Metabolix, based in Cambridge, Mass., in 2004 to commercialize their patented technology.

 Roman Blahoski, ADM Media Relations manager, said Clinton was selected because of its existing facilities, availability of skilled work force and transportation infrastructure.

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