Biosciences company to construct $17 million plant at Eastman Business Park

Bio-performance company GreenLight Biosciences Inc. plans to construct a pilot plant at a building at Eastman Business Park (EBP). The project will create up to 30 jobs that will support the production of GreenLight’s ribonucleic acid-based solutions for the agriculture and healthcare industries.

Empire State Development will support the project with up to $600,000 through the Excelsior Jobs Program in exchange for job creation commitments. The total project cost is estimated at $16.6 million. Monroe County and Greater Rochester Enterprise Inc. also assisted with the project.

“New York State’s strategic investments help position cutting-edge science for commercialization and economic growth,” said Eric Gertler, ESD acting commissioner, president and CEO-designate. “GreenLight Biosciences and its partners are working to create the next generation of environmentally innovative products, which will create jobs and drive economic activity in Rochester and throughout the region.”

The plant will enable GreenLight to bring its cell-free biomanufacturing process, GreenWorX, to market in order to produce low-cost, high-quality RNA. The production of RNA through GreenWorX will help farmers grow food in a way that is natural and safe by targeting specific pests without harming other species or the environment.

GreenLight’s innovations also can be used to hasten the discovery and commercialization of vaccines and antibody therapies, officials noted. Founded in 2009, GreenLight Biosciences is headquartered in Medford, Mass., and its research and development efforts are located at Research Triangle Park in North Carolina.

“We are disrupting the industry by bringing nature and technology together to develop sustainable, precise biocontrol solutions, and it’s critical that we continue to build a workforce that can carry these innovations forward,” said GreenLight’s Chief Operating Officer Carole Cobb in a statement. “Eastman Business Park is particularly attractive to us because of the access to talented scientists and manufacturing experts in the Rochester area as well as the extensive infrastructure and capabilities of EBP.”

EBP, where Eastman Kodak Co. began manufacturing photographic film and paper more than a century ago, is being reinvigorated. The campus supports more than 114 companies employing  6,000 people. EBP is home to Kodak operations and to companies such as DuPont Nutrition & Health, Plug Power Inc., BEST Test and Commercialization Center, LiDestri Foods Inc. and Clearwater Organic Farms LLC, among others.

“Greenlight Biosciences is another perfect fit for the growing family of innovative companies making their way to Eastman Business Park. EBP’s formula is working and we’re giving our full support to their efforts to bring new industry, investment, and jobs to the area,” said Greece Town Supervisor Bill Reilich. “Greenlight Biosciences is working to bolster the food and beverage and health care industries, which are among the fastest-growing industries in Greece and our neighboring communities. This kind of complementary growth couples EBP’s industrial infrastructure and our skilled workforce, which is a recipe for success. We’ll continue working with economic development partners and prioritizing permits and approvals necessary to bring this project and others like it to fruition.”

[email protected] / 585-653-4021
Follow Velvet Spicer on Twitter: @Velvet_Spicer

Canadian battery recovery company coming to Eastman Business Park

A Canadian battery recovery company plans to set up operations at Eastman Business Park, creating roughly two-dozen jobs in its first year of operation.

Li-Cycle Corp., a North American lithium-ion battery resource recovery company, will establish its first U.S.-based facility in northern Monroe County. EBP was selected as the best location to serve the company’s client base in the South and Midwest.

In exchange for job commitments of at least 23 jobs in its first year, Li-Cycle will receive assistance from Empire State Development of up to $450,000 through the Excelsior Jobs Program. The County of Monroe and Greater Rochester Enterprise Inc. also are assisting with the project.

The total project cost is expected to be $23.3 million over a three-year period, but Li-Cycle said it expects the facility to be fully operational later this year.

“As the United States and world enter an unprecedented phase of growth for electric vehicles and electro-mobility, rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and the critical materials within them are crucial for the industry’s success,” said Li-Cycle CEO and Co-founder Ajay Kochhar in a statement Tuesday. “The facility will foster the development of closed-loop lithium-ion battery resource recovery in the State of New York and the broader United States market. In turn, we are pleased to support the creation of high-quality jobs in the Finger Lakes region and look forward to our continued growth in the EBP.”

Li-Cycle was founded in 2016 and was awarded a grant through Sustainable Development Technology Canada to construct a demonstration facility. With that facility functional, the company has undertaken the first phase of its commercialization process at EBP.

Initially, Li-Cycle will occupy 57,000 square feet of a pre-existing process building and is considering additional phases for the project in the coming years, officials said.

“The economy of the future will be grounded in innovation and sustainability, qualities embodied by Li-Cycle,” said Monroe County Executive Adam Bello. “I’m grateful for its partnership with ESD in bringing its first U.S. based lithium-ion battery recycling center to Eastman Business Park. This is just the latest development to reinforce Monroe County’s expanding role as a home to the emerging technology industry.”

Li-Cycle has developed and validated a process that allows them to recover 80 to 100 percent of all materials found in lithium-ion batteries while maintaining no wastewater discharge and actualizing the company’s zero-waste philosophy. All materials that are recovered from the batteries are either processed to the point of being reusable in battery production, thus closing the loop, or sent for further processing to other recyclers to ensure all materials generated are being returned to the economy. The company is able to process all types of lithium-ion batteries used in electronic devices, e-mobility, electric vehicles and energy storage.

“We welcome Li-Cycle to the energy storage eco-system at Eastman Business Park,” said EBP President and Eastman Kodak Co. CFO Dave Bullwinkle. “Li-Cycle’s battery content recovery operations are the perfect complement to Kodak’s battery coating and cell assembly services and the Best Test & Commercialization Center run by DNV-GL. Li-Cycle joins energy storage tenants including Plug Power, Nohms Technologies, Energy Materials Corp. and Graphenix Development Inc. Li-Cycle operations will take advantage of the amazing utility and service infrastructure available at Eastman Business Park, reducing costs and speeding time to market.”

[email protected] / 585-653-4021
Follow Velvet Spicer on Twitter: @Velvet_Spicer