Federal grant to help expand water supply to Novozymes facility in Blair

By: - September 27, 2022 4:21 pm

In 2017, Gov. Pete Ricketts attended the grand opening of an expansion of the Novozymes plant in Blair. (Courtesy of the Governor’s Office)

LINCOLN — The City of Blair is getting a $1.5 million federal grant to help accommodate a $300 million expansion of Novozymes’ biotech facility along the Missouri River.

The grant, which will help build a larger water main to the expanded facility, was announced Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration. Blair will match the grant with $2 million in local funds.

Novozymes, based in Denmark, first located in Blair a decade ago and is part of a larger campus operated by Cargill. The expansion, which is underway, will allow the production of plant-based proteins.

Novozymes now employs 145 people at a plant that provides enzymes used in the production of ethanol at more than 100 plants.

The Blair facility is the largest enzyme manufacturing plant dedicated to biofuels in the world, according to the company.

Al Schoemaker, Blair’s public works director, said the water main project will be let for bid later this fall, with construction to be completed by the end of next year.

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Paul Hammel
Paul Hammel

Senior Reporter Paul Hammel has covered the Nebraska Legislature and Nebraska state government for decades. A native of Ralston, Nebraska, he is vice president of the John G. Neihardt Foundation, a member of the Nebraska Hop Growers and a volunteer caretaker of Irvingdale Park in Lincoln.