BAINBRIDGE, Ga. — A renewable plastics manufacturer cut the ribbon on its new facility in Bainbridge Thursday, bringing jobs and the prospect for additional economic expansion to the area.
Meredian Inc., a privately held biopolymer manufacturer, held a grand opening event for its polyhydroxyalkanoates biopolymers plant Thursday.
The plant is the largest PHA production facility in the world, according to Meredian’s website.
“Meredian PHA provides value to our customers by way of its many attributes and performance capabilities. Additionally, we can compete with traditional petro-based plastics on price based upon our cost-effective production systems,” Blake Lindsey, president and co-founder of Meredian, said Thursday. “Our PHA resins will be made using a technology Meredian acquired from P&G in 2007. We have spent the last three years confirming production systems and efficiencies while jointly developing specific end-use applications with our strategic customer partners.”
Meredian is a green manufacturer, using renewable resources to manufacture its products, according to its website.
Rick McCaskill, the executive director of the Bainbridge-Decatur County Economic Development Commission, said he was thankful that Meredian decided to keep its expansion local.
“We’re really thankful and proud that they decided to stay here and invest in our community,” McCaskill said. “It’s exciting for us not only because of the investment to the community and the jobs, but because of the fact that this type of technology and process will likely bring other industries that use the plastics they’ll make here to the area. ... Hopefully, it’ll be a magnet to other companies.”
Gary Breedlove, Decatur County’s interim county administrator, said the facility will bring jobs and infrastructure to a part of Georgia that has been decimated by job losses and the economic downturn.
“It’s a big deal for us,” Breedlove said. “Just like every other county, we’re trying to find new industries and growing our existing ones and particularly here in Decatur County, this expansion will mean a lot in terms of jobs and capital investment.”
According to the office of U.S. Congressman Sanford Bishop, who attended the ribbon-cutting Thursday, the new plant features 190,000 square feet of manufacturing space with expected production rates exceeding 300,000 tons per year and an estimated 150 percent growth in jobs over the next 24 months.
McCaskill said early projections indicate that the company will add 25 new jobs to begin the startup process with additional jobs to be added in phases through the next several months.