Officials gathered in Eddyville this week for the ceremonial start of construction of a $300 million chemical plant that will use corn to make fabric and other materials.
The project- a joint venture of Cargill and HELM, a chemical company based in Germany- is called Qore (pronounced “core”), and the plant will produce a chemical called Qira. Kaye DeLange, one of the new company’s board of directors, said Qira isn’t a new chemical.
“It uses an innovative process starting from corn sugar, so instead of making butanediol from fossil fuels and pulling coal from the ground, this is made from carbon dioxide pulled from the air,” DeLange said.
Qira can cut up to 93 percent of greenhouse gas emissions when compared to traditional fossil sources, according to Cargill. The chemical is used to manufacture things like spandex, athletic shoe soles, and insulation.
Governor Kim Reynolds, who attended the groundbreaking Tuesday, said Eddyville is the perfect spot for Qore’s plant.
“We have the corn stock, we have the innovation, we have the workforce, we have the manufacturing–it’s the largest sector of our GDP,” Reynolds said. “It makes so much sense that they’ve chosen this small little state in the heartland of America and this small town that’s doing big things.”
The facility is being built on Cargill’s existing Eddyville campus and is scheduled to open in 2024.