CJ Bio America's Fort Dodge plant is scheduled for full operation by the end of the year.
A major step toward that goal was achieved Nov. 1.
On that day, CJ successfully manufactured the first finished quantity of lysine, an amino acid that will be used in animal feed.
At full capacity, the $323 million facility will produce 100,000 metric tons of lysine per year.
"I am happy to announce that we've successfully manufactured CJ's first U.S. production of lysine here in Fort Dodge in accordance with our timeline," Jung Tak Nam, president and chief executive officer of CJ Bio America, said in a press release. "This was possible not only because of all the efforts of our dedicated employees and contractors, but also because of great support from the city of Fort Dodge, Webster County, the surrounding communities, and the state of Iowa. I would like to extend a thank you and hope that we continue to grow together."
CJ Bio America is part of CJ CheilJedang Corp. based in South Korea. Worldwide, the company, which is presently celebrating its 60th anniversary, has about 68,000 employees and sales worth $23.1 billion annually.
The company decided to build its first American plant in the industrial park known as Iowa's Crossroads of Global Innovation in large measure because of the presence of Cargill, which converted the unused former Tate & Lyle plant into a corn wet milling facility. CJ broke ground on the plant on May 14, 2012.
Cargill announced Nov. 4 that it has begun operating its plant in Fort Dodge.
Dextrose produced by Cargill will be pumped through pipes to the nearby CJ Bio America plant, where it will be used to make lysine.
"Having lived in and around Fort Dodge my entire life, it is exciting to be a part of something so healthy for our community, region and state," said Luke Palmer, general affairs manager for CJ. "The positive impact that CJ Bio America can have is immeasurable. An immense amount of work went into bringing CJ Bio America to Webster County and just as much work went into getting the facility to where it is today. I am proud to be part of a community that works so hard to provide opportunities for prosperity. "
CJ Bio America will employ approximately 170 people at the facility.