Blue Marble Closes on Land Deal for Biorefinery

Joanna Schroeder

Blue Marble Biomaterials has closed on the purchase of the former GTC Oats Inc. located in Missoula, Montana. Previously, this site was a wet extraction processing plant for the creation of food ingredients. The purchase includes 3.81 acres of land, a 19,000 square foot building complex, and parking stalls for over 100 employees. The building retrofits include systems that will allow for greater energy efficiency and enable the site to be a showcase for the company’s “zero-­‐waste” focus.

blue marble biomaterials“We are excited to announce the purchase of this site which will become our first Large Commercial Bio-Refinery. The acquisition of this facility fulfills the next stage of our scaling plan to begin offering an expanded portfolio of products to global customers,” said Colby Underwood, Co‐CEO and Chief Business Officer for Blue Marble Biomaterials. “In 2011, two percent of all chemicals sold globally were sustainable. By 2025, the USDA predicts that 44% of all chemicals sold will be sustainable. Everyday, we see the explosive growth that is occurring with natural bio-­chemicals. With the increased production capacity of this facility and others planned for the future, we will become one of the bio-­chemical market leaders.”

Blue Marble expects to see significant growth in the coming months, as the site purchase comes just as the company begins closing a $15 million debt financing deal through the USCIS EB-­5 Program. The EB-­5 Program was created by Congress in 1990 as a mechanism to stimulate economic activity, encourage foreign investment in US companies, and create domestic jobs. Currently employing 24 people, Blue Marble believes it is one of the first biotechnology companies to take advantage of the program and expects to create over 300 direct and indirect jobs in the Missoula area as a result of the financing and recent site purchase.

Underwood added, “On behalf of the entire Blue Marble team, I would like to thank Governor Steve Bullock, U.S. Senator Jon Tester, U.S. Senator Max Baucus, Congressman Steve Daines, and Missoula Mayor John Engen for their support on behalf of this purchase and our company. We would also like to thank the hard working employees of the Missoula Job Service, Bitterroot Economic Development District, and Missoula County.”

advanced biofuels, Renewable Energy