CJ Bio America launches lysine production

来源:Messenger News  发布者:管理员  日期:2015-12-18  点击:624

Hundreds and hundreds of bags of a brown powder destined to become part of nutritious feeds for poultry and swine fill a warehouse at the CJ Bio America plant west of Fort Dodge.

That powder is lysine, an amino acid essential for growth. It's the primary product of the $323 million plant that began operating late last year.

The plant takes dextrose from the nearby Cargill corn wet-milling facility and refines it into lysine. The first finished product emerged from the manufacturing process on Nov. 1, 2013.

Article Photos

-Messenger photo by Bill Shea
Ryan Kuker, a packager for CJ Bio America, stacks bags of lysine at the company’s Webster County plant. That lysine will be sent to feed manufacturers to be added into products for poultry and swine.

Jung Tak Nam, the president and chief executive officer of CJ Bio America, said the plant in the ag industrial park called Iowa's Crossroads of Global Innovation is a state of the art facility.

''We took the best of the best from our existing plants,'' he said. ''We selected all the best processes from each existing plant.''

CJ Bio America is part of a larger corporation, CJ CheilJedang, a diversified South Korean company that has lysine plants in China, Brazil and Indonesia. Nam said the company holds the largest market share in the world lysine market. He said about 30 percent of the lysine used across the globe is made by the company.

The Webster County facility is the first North American production plant for CJ CheilJedang.

It was built over the course of 24 months beginning in the spring of 2012. A groundbreaking ceremony was held on May 15, 2012.

Plant supervisors and shift leaders were hired in September 2012. The first of about 90 plant operators were hired in January 2013.

All of the new hires went through what Luke Palmer, the company's general affairs manager, called a ''very methodical'' training process. It included weeks of work at the new Iowa Central Community College East Campus and visits to plants in Brazil and Indonesia.

There are about 170 people employed at the plant. CJ Bio America employs 140 of them. They are joined by about 20 employees of CJ Korea Express, another component of CJ CheilJedang, who coordinate the shipments of lysine from the plant. An additional 20 people work for maintenance contractors.

Palmer said the lysine, which also can be made in a liquid form, is sold to feed manufacturers. Some liquid fertilizer will also be made there.

The principal raw material used to make lysine is dextrose, which is pumped through pipes from the Cargill plant. CJ Bio America will use about 250,000 tons of dextrose annually.

The plant can make 100,000 metric tons of the amino acid every year. About 70 percent of that will be shipped in rail cars.

That yearly production total could someday be doubled.

Nam said an area on the plant's 65-acre campus has already been set aside for potential future expansion. That expansion would boost production to 200,000 metric tons a year.

According to Palmer, CJ Bio America ''sees the value in supporting the people and supporting the community.''

Already, the company donated $19,000 to pay for the now-completed renovation of the kitchen in the Fort Dodge firehouse.

The company also gave $10,000 to help pay for a May 11, 2013, Honor Flight that took area veterans to Washington, D.C., to see the country's war memorials. That flight was set up for Korean War veterans.

CJ Bio America sponsored the annual dragon boat races held last summer at Badger Lake in John F. Kennedy Memorial Park.

Nam said the company would like to do more to benefit area communities.

''We want to contribute more to the development of this area'' he said.