Cormo USA Inc., which utilizes technology to turn corn field waste into sustainable products, announced plans Monday to establish operations in Rushville, creating up to 250 new, high-wage jobs by the end of 2023.

“Indiana’s economy is increasingly global, and we are excited to welcome yet another international company to the Hoosier state,” Governor Eric J. Holcomb said. “With strong roots in agriculture and a flourishing tech sector, Indiana is the perfect destination for innovative companies like Cormo USA to locate as they work to develop and refine critical solutions.”

The company, which was incorporated as a joint venture between Switzerland-based Cormo AG and Florida-based Sustainable Projects Group Inc. in 2018, will invest approximately $29.5 million to establish its first U.S. production plant in Indiana, constructing and equipping a state-of-the-art facility on 10 acres in the Commerce Park at Rushville. The new facility, which the company plans to break ground on this summer, will process maize straw from up to 150,000 acres of corn fields each year into a 100 percent sustainable peat moss substitute (TEFA) for agricultural uses and into foam products (BABS) for material science uses. This patented process has been utilized at the company’s pilot plant in France since 2016.

“Indiana, and particularly Rush County, offers the perfect combination of entrepreneurial spirit, hardworking talent and agriculture which is mission critical for our company,” Stefan Muehlbauer, president of the Board at Cormo USA, said. “After an extensive site search across corn-producing states, Cormo USA is looking forward to the next phase of the company’s evolution. We are especially grateful for the knowledgeable team at the IEDC and the support of Mayor Mike Pavey in Rushville as well as his team. They have shown exceptional professionalism and shared our commitment to not just an environmentally- but also an economically-sustainable future. “

To support its growth, Cormo USA plans to begin hiring for plant operations and management positions in the next three to four months, with additional positions added in logistics, scientific testing and marketing in 2020. New positions are expected to offer average salaries 50 percent above the state’s average wage.

“This is an extraordinary addition to the Rush County community,” Rushville Mayor Mike Pavey said. “We have world-class manufacturing in Rushville, yet Rush County is an agricultural county. Cormo USA will add an agricultural piece to those world-class operations. They not only benefit the employment base of the county, but will also offer income opportunities to Rush County farmers as well as farmers in surrounding counties.”

A pilot production plant based in Alsace, France, has successfully, and on an industrial scale, been able to turn corn field waste into sustainable products. Cormo is expanding into the United States in order to expand its high-technology business, leveraging the country’s significantly larger corn production volume and contributing to positive economic and sustainable developments.

“The Commerce Park at Rushville is our local ‘Field of Dreams’, and like the movie, “if you build it they will come,” Rush County Economic Development Director John McCane said. “The decision of Cormo USA to develop their first American manufacturing operation right here in Rushville is a testament to the storied history of Rush County’s agriculture.”

According to McCane, the company’s decision to locate in Rush County was based on:

• Shovel ready commerce park for building their plant

• Exceptional professionalism of the team (city hall, ECDC and attending members from the business and farming community at the initial meeting) and their willingness to help at every step along the way.

• Positive “vibes” of redevelopment of the downtown area, local projects and excitement for Rush County and Rushville

• The Site is within an existing TIF area

• Funding and Incentives offers – land, financial and “soft” incentives (such as local connections and help sourcing contracts with farmers) helping Cormo feel immediately welcome in the county

“This is proof positive that the investment by the City in the Commerce Park at Rushville is paying dividends to our county. It’s exciting to know that this sustainable agriculture manufacturer will be in developing in the Commerce Park,” ECDC Chairman David Reid said.

Subject to approval of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) Board of Directors, the IEDC will offer Cormo USA up to $3.5 million in conditional tax credits based on the company’s job creation plans. These incentives are performance-based, meaning the company is not eligible to receive incentives until jobs are created. The city of Rushville is considering additional incentives.

Cormo USA joins a network of more than 950 international business establishments operating in Indiana, including 38 Swiss businesses, including Autoneum, Nestlé, Kuehne + Nagel, Roche and UGN. Gov. Holcomb has led four economic development trips to Europe, which accounts for nearly 60 percent of Indiana’s more than 190,900 jobs supported by foreign direct investment, during his tenure as governor, visiting Switzerland in 2018.

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