Novozymes: Nebraska facility celebrates 10th anniversary

By Novozymes | May 10, 2022

Novozymes, the leading biotech powerhouse, today celebrates the 10th anniversary of its Blair biotech manufacturing plant, in Nebraska, with an event attended by Gov. Ricketts and local officials, and enjoyed by employees, customers, and supporters.

Through a decade of inspiration, insight, and investment, Novozymes has been developing the cutting-edge biotech facility from bare land along the Missouri River into the largest enzyme manufacturing plant dedicated to biofuels in the world.

“Bioscience companies have thrived in Nebraska’s business-friendly climate,” says Gov. Ricketts. “Novozymes broke ground in Blair in 2009 to make enzymes for ethanol production. They are continuing to grow, with an additional investment of over $300 million in a new protein production facility. Thank you to Novozymes for your commitment to the community of Blair and for helping to grow the Good Life.” 

The plant has expanded significantly since its first creation. Currently, construction of a new, $300 million state-of-the-art production line is underway, which will enable growth of Novozymes’ business in Advanced Protein Solutions.

“Since 2012, Blair has evolved from a bare field to a top-notch biotech production facility, supplying products to sustain and grow the bioenergy industry in North America,” says Vanessa Rising, General Manager of Novozymes’ Blair site. “Now, we are busy expanding Blair again to deliver on our strategy and help meet growing global demands for protein.”


Investing in the future

Investment in Blair began in 2009, when Novozymes launched a $200 million plan to build the original production facility to provide enzymes that would help meet consumer demand for bioethanol. The site was initially designed as a 100-employee facility with multiple expansions already anticipated. The new plant was inaugurated on May 30, 2012 – and just five years after opening, Blair underwent a $36 million expansion with the addition of several new fermentation tanks, more cooling tower capacity, and other utilities.

Novozymes in Blair now has around 145 employees, dedicated to meeting customer demands in bioenergy and animal feed. The site delivers to more than 100 different ethanol plants in the U.S. and Canada.


Serving new markets

The success of Novozymes’ Blair plant is partially attributable to the effectiveness of the biosolutions it produces. They have been welcomed by the marketplace because they bring substantial benefits to both customers and consumers.

“A calculation shows that over the past 10 years, enzymes from our Blair plant have enabled gasoline displacement via biofuels equivalent to taking 15 million cars off the road. That is a remarkable impact that we are very proud of!” says Rising, the General Manager.

With an additional focus at Blair – Advanced Protein Solutions –, Novozymes has an exciting opportunity to help agriculture grow and support rural development.

“Expanding in the global protein market with Advanced Protein Solutions will enable us to increase the sustainability, equity, and diversity of this strengthening market,” adds Vanessa Rising. “We need these advanced solutions to help feed the world, sustainably, through facilities like the one here in Blair.”


People power

A large proportion of the original employees is still at Novozymes Blair, ten years on.

“While investment and wide support have been essential, Novozymes’ success at Blair is also about its own people – our ‘Zymers’,” says Vanessa Rising. “People power has made this remarkable growth story possible within a short period of time. It is a testimony to the team spirit, purpose, achievements, and close culture that have evolved there, which has been built by Zymers themselves.”

Currently, Novozymes has several exciting positions open at its site in Blair – and is actively recruiting for its latest expansion. Please see this link for more information.