Pending regulatory approval, the joint ventures will manufacture ingredients for a variety of plant-based products, including eco-friendly bioplastics; project expected to create more than 125 new jobs
(Decatur, IL) — Governor Pritzker along with leading global diversified chemical company LG Chem, and ADM, a global leader in nutrition and BioSolutions, today announced that pending regulatory approval, two planned joint ventures for U.S. production of lactic acid and polylactic acid will be located in Decatur. The projects will help meet the growing demand for a wide variety of plant-based products, including eco-friendly bioplastics.
The first joint venture, GreenWise Lactic, would produce up to 150,000 tons of high-purity corn-based lactic acid annually. ADM would be the majority owner of GreenWise, and would contribute fermentation capacity from its Decatur bioproducts facility to the venture. The second venture, LG Chem Illinois Biochem, will build a new facility that will use product from Greenwise Lactic to produce approximately 75,000 tons of polylactic acid (PLA) per year. Decatur serves as ADM’s North American headquarters. The joint ventures are expected to create more than 125 jobs.
“I am thrilled that LG Chem and ADM have chosen Decatur as home for their joint ventures,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Our state’s talented workforce coupled with our mission of sustainability makes Illinois the best place for these lactic and polylactic acid production facilities. To LG Chem and ADM: thank you for your commitment to our state. It is innovative, plant-based solutions like these that will help us tackle the climate crisis head on.”
Lactic acid is used broadly in food, feed and cosmetics in addition to industrials like bioplastics. Polylactic acid (PLA) is a biodegradable, eco-friendly plastic. Both lactic acid and PLA have seen significant growing global demand as more companies and consumers seek sustainable products.
The joint ventures, which are subject to required regulatory approvals, anticipate beginning operations in late 2025 or early 2026, with construction on the new facility planned for 2023. Both ventures are participating in the State of Illinois’ Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) program, which provides incentives to job creators who plan to make large-scale investments in Illinois.
“Sustainability is one of the enduring global trends that is powering ADM’s strategy and growth,” said ADM CEO Juan R. Luciano. “Our BioSolutions platform is helping us meet that demand by redeploying Carbohydrate Solutions production capacity to fast-growing, higher margin segments including pharmaceuticals and personal care, textiles and paper products. BioSolutions is already growing rapidly, with $136 million in year-over-year revenue growth in the first half of 2022, and with these two new joint ventures, we’re planning to take the next growth step, greatly expanding our ability to meet growing demand for plant-based solutions. We’re pleased to expand our collaboration with LG Chem, and we’re excited at the opportunity to bring this new intended production and all of its economic benefits to Decatur, our North American headquarters.”
“The establishment of this joint venture is a sustainable growth strategy that can directly contribute in solving environmental issues such as climate change and waste plastics,” said LG Chem Chief Executive Officer Hak Cheol. “LG Chem is the first Korean company to build a PLA plant with integrated production capacities ranging from raw materials to the final product. With the establishment of this JV, LG Chem will not only procure production capacities for highly pure lactic acid needed for commercial-scale PLA production, but will also be able to apply biomaterials in the development of various high value-added products. Based on eco-friendly materials, which is an axis for new growth engines, we will respond to the rapidly changing market and customers, while becoming a market leader.”
“Demand for plant-based products is on the rise and it’s no surprise Illinois is attractive to companies looking to expand in this industry,” U.S. Senator Dick Durbin said. “As the federal government seeks opportunities to invest in greener buildings, it will look to states like Illinois that are leaders in the production of eco-products. Today’s news is a positive step and I appreciate the efforts of state and local leaders to bring even more jobs to Illinois.”
“When I led a congressional delegation to South Korea earlier this year, I met with the CEO of LG Chem, Hak Cheol Shin, and shared how Illinois is uniquely positioned for greater investment as a growing hub for innovation, manufacturing and technology. I’m proud my advocacy helped bring this important investment to Illinois,” said Senator Duckworth. “LG Chem recognizes what I’ve long known: Illinois is a great place to do business. Building on ADM’s 120-year history in Illinois, I’m glad the leaders at ADM and LG Chem made this decision to help our state lead the transition to a clean energy economy and create good-paying jobs right here so we can help build a better, more sustainable future for communities throughout Illinois. I will continue to spread the message across the country and around the world that entrepreneurs and innovative companies should call Illinois home.”
“This new venture will create good-paying jobs and stimulate economic growth in Decatur,” said State Senator Doris Turner (D-Springfield). “This is an excellent opportunity to bring growth to the region and revitalize our communities. Additionally, a shift towards biodegradable, eco-friendly plastics promotes sustainability and provides our communities with a brighter tomorrow.”
“The LG Chem Project is a major victory for Decatur and the environment,” said Decatur Mayor Julie Moore Wolfe. “It’s more than 100 new jobs, $400 million invested, and their innovative green technology is synergistic with ADM’s operations. Everybody wins! Today’s announcements would not have been possible without the coordinated efforts of the city, the State of Illinois, ADM and the Economic Development Corporation of Decatur and Macon County.”
“Innovative companies continue to locate in Illinois because of our world-class infrastructure, skilled workforce and leadership in key industries, like biochemical production,” said Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Sylvia I. Garcia. “We’re looking forward to LG Chem and ADM’s innovative joint ventures locating in Decatur, which will create jobs, bring significant investment to the region and continue growth in this key sector.”
About LG Chem
LG Chem is a global leading diversified chemical company that mainly operates petrochemicals, advanced materials and life sciences businesses. The chemical business manufactures a wide range of products from high-value added petrochemicals to renewable plastics. LG Chem also extends its chemical expertise into high-tech areas such as electronic & battery materials and drugs & vaccines to deliver differentiated solutions for our customers. LG Chem aims to reach carbon-neutral growth by 2050 and promote RE100 at all business sites worldwide to suppress carbon emissions to 10 million tons, which is equivalent to the amount in 2019. Throughout multiple production facilities and extensive distribution network around the globe, LG Chem employs approximately 17,000 people and generated sales of KRW 30.1 trillion(USD 25.9 billion) in 2020. For more information, please visit www.lgchem.com.
ADM unlocks the power of nature to enrich the quality of life. We’re a premier global human and animal nutrition company, delivering solutions today with an eye to the future. We’re blazing new trails in health and well-being as our scientists develop groundbreaking products to support healthier living. We’re a cutting-edge innovator leading the way to a new future of plant-based consumer and industrial solutions to replace petroleum-based products. We’re an unmatched agricultural supply chain manager and processor, providing food security by connecting local needs with global capabilities. And we’re a leader in sustainability, scaling across entire value chains to help decarbonize our industry and safeguard our planet. From the seed of the idea to the outcome of the solution, we give customers an edge in solving the nutritional and sustainability challenges of today and tomorrow. Learn more at www.adm.com.