ADM Strikes Supply Deal for US Plant-Based Chemical Factory

Solugen Will Build Manufacturing Facility Next to ADM’s Corn Complex in Marshall, Minnesota
ADM sign at office in Illinois
The ADM logo at its Science and Technology Center in Decatur, Ill. Solugen will use corn sugar as feedstock to produce organic chemicals for use in consumer and industrial products. (Daniel Acker/Bloomberg News)

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Archer Daniels Midland Co. has agreed to supply biochemical maker Solugen Inc. with raw materials needed to make plant-based acids at a plant to be built in southwest Minnesota.

Solugen will build a manufacturing facility next to ADM’s corn complex in Marshall, Minn., and use the crop trader’s corn sugar as feedstock to produce organic chemicals for use in consumer and industrial products, the companies said an Oct. 30 statement. They also plan to collaborate on commercialization opportunities of these materials for a range of applications, including energy, water treatment, agriculture, construction materials, cleaning and personal care.

Solugen said it can make chemicals with no carbon dioxide emissions, replacing materials traditionally made from fossil fuels. The startup, whose investors include BlackRock Inc. and Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte., aims to begin constructing the 500,000-square-foot plant next year. Operations are expected to start in 2025.

The project will “significantly increase Solugen’s manufacturing capacity” and kicks off plans for a large-scale build-out in the U.S., Chief Technology Officer Sean Hunt said in the statement. The company already operates a plant in Houston.

ADM, one of the world’s largest dextrose producers, sees the partnership as a way to further diversify its product stream while supporting plant-based initiatives. It ranks No. 74 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest private carriers in North America, and No. 9 on the TT top agriculture and food processing carriers list.

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