Novozymes: Ethanol Crisis Be Damned!

Even as numerous U.S. ethanol producers could shutter a substantial portion of their plants over the coming months, Danish enzyme producer Novozymes appears unphased. The company said this morning that it plans to build an enzyme production facility in Blair, Neb., that will cost between $80 million and $100 million and will start operation in late 2010. Novozymes will sell its enzymes to corn-based ethanol makers and eventually cellulosic ethanol producers.

Counter to the concerns being voiced by analysts like Citigroup’s David Driscoll, Novozymes says it’s bullish on the U.S. ethanol market, particularly in the Midwest. “Novozymes conducted a worldwide search for a new location before settling on the Midwest,” it said in a statement released the morning. Hmmm, they must not be reading the weather reports — the region has recently been deluged by extreme rains.

But perhaps Novozymes thought it was a good day to salute the ever-growing buzz around green jobs. The release says that the Blair plant will initially bring around 100 new jobs to the state. They likely got a pretty good deal from Nebraska to build the plant there; Governor Dave Heineman says in the release: “Our Nebraska Advantage package has made our state globally competitive for high-tech companies such as Novozymes to grow their business in Nebraska.”

Image courtesy of Citigroup and WSI Corporation.