Novozymes to invest $316.1M in Blair

New production line for plant-based industry


Novozymes recently announced an agreement to enter the plant-based industry and invest 2 billion Danish kroner — or $316.1 million — over two years for a new state-of-the-art production line in Blair.

The agreement is the biggest investment in the biocampus since the joint venture of Vermaris between Evonik Industries and Royal DSM was completed for $200 million.

Advanced Protein Solutions is a strategic opportunity area in Novozymes and builds on a portfolio of biotech solutions in the food and beverage areas, the company said in a news release.

The agreement with an anchor customer and a key player in the plant-based industry includes a long-term contract. Novozymes did not disclose the name of its partner.

With the investment, the company said it will make a significant step forward in enabling sustainable nutrition for the world, while strengthening its commitment to serving the alternative protein market.

“At a time of accelerating demand across the protein space, Novozymes can unlock significant value by building on decades of experience with fermented catalytic proteins. Being a biotech powerhouse allows us to produce high-quality, novel ingredients for our customers, efficiently and sustainably,” Novozymes CEO Ester Baiget said in a press release. “Realizing the importance of rethinking how we meet an increasing demand for sustainable proteins, Novozymes is executing on its commitment to the strategic opportunity area Advanced Protein Solutions by investing DKK 2 billion in one of the fastest growing segments of the food industry. Together with our customers, we look forward to making a meaningful impact towards feeding the world sustainably.”

Plant-based products, including plant-based meat, was the fastest growing retail category in the U.S. in 2020 with 46% growth. According to market estimates, global plant-based meat could increase from 1% to 2-5% penetration rate of total meat consumption volume by 2025.

Construction of the facility is expected to begin in 2022 and be completed by 2023.

Within five years from the beginning of production, Novozymes expects to reach at least $158 million in sales.