The new facility will be the first purpose-built commercial precision fermentation plant in the United States.
Liberation Labs, a large-scale precision fermentation manufacturer, has executed a purchase agreement for the site of its first commercial-scale biomanufacturing facility. The new facility, which will have a fermentation capacity of 600,000 liters with a fully dedicated downstream process (DSP), will be located in the Midwest Industrial Park in Richmond, Indiana. Commercial production is expected by the end of 2024.
Liberation Labs is focused on enabling the commercial availability of bioproducts that will meet the growing demand from existing major CPG and ingredient brands as well as from the emerging crop of precision fermentation-focused startups. The new facility will be the first purpose-built commercial-scale precision fermentation plant in the United States. The company has completed Front End Loading level 3 engineering (FEL-3) and has begun placing orders for long-lead equipment and building out the operations team. Groundbreaking is expected later this spring.
“The three things a biomanufacturing facility like ours needs are sugar, power and people – and Richmond, Indiana has them all,” said Mark Warner, co-founder and CEO of Liberation Labs. “While sugar and power are commodities, a workforce experienced in manufacturing is not, which is why Richmond really stands out. We are thankful for the support the state and local community has provided us and we can’t wait to break ground.”
The new facility will be located on a 36-acre parcel within Phase I of Richmond, Indiana’s 700-acre Midwest Industrial Park, which is owned and maintained by the City of Richmond in partnership with the Economic Development Corporation of Wayne County. Liberation Labs will be the 10th tenant to locate in this well-established industrial park.
This site offers tremendous logistical opportunities for the company, including:
- Shovel ready site with necessary utility capacity;
- Proximity to Interstate 70, the Norfolk Southern mainline and three regional airports for shipping and logistics;
- Proximity to cost-advantaged carbon feedstocks;
- Significant percentage of baseload power to facility is clean, solar energy;
- Proximity to 3 large metropolitan areas, providing adequate qualified labor.
Liberation Labs will benefit from several key incentives offered by Wayne County and the State of Indiana, including tax credits, grants, utility offsets, workforce-related incentives and discounts on the land purchase. The company expects to invest $115 million in the facility and plans to create an estimated 45 well-paying manufacturing jobs.
“Next generation technology is critical to future food security for people everywhere, and I am proud that Indiana is leading the charge,” said Indiana Secretary of Commerce Brad Chambers. “We are excited to welcome Liberation Labs to our growing agbiosciences ecosystem. Liberation Labs will continue to enable companies to innovate while creating high-paying, quality career opportunities for Hoosiers.”
Not only will Liberation Labs increase the overall supply of bio-based consumer products, it also will make them at lower cost because they will be manufactured and distributed in the United States. Today, most biomanufacturing capacity is in Europe but production and shipping fees make sourcing from there cost prohibitive.
“Securing this partnership and investment from Liberation Labs is another milestone in our strong relationship with Governor Holcomb and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation,” said Richmond Mayor Dave Snow. “We are thrilled to add the expertise of Liberation Labs to our Industrial Park. Make no mistake, when a company of this caliber chooses to invest in Richmond, it’s a resounding vote of confidence that we are moving in the right direction. With more jobs being created, and such a strong business model, I am confident this is just the beginning of a long and mutually prosperous relationship.”
About Liberation Labs
Liberation Labs is commercializing precision fermentation with a global network of purpose built manufacturing facilities that enable the next wave of biotechnology advancements to produce bio-based consumer products at scale. We combine modern technology with fit-for-purpose design to bring reliable and cost-effective solutions that meet customer demand across the world. More information is available at www.liberationlabs.com.