Genera will produce Earthable line of sustainable agricultural fibre products at the planned manufacturing facility in the US


Image: Genera to produce Earthable line of sustainable packaging products at the new manufacturing facility in the US. Photo: courtesy of Genera Energy.

W.G. Yates & Sons Construction Company has been selected as the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor by US-based biomass solutions company Genera for the proposed packaging facility in Vonore, Tennessee.

The contract follows a $118m (£97.7m) investment secured from WindSail Capital Group by Genera in July 2019 to produce its Earthable line of sustainable agricultural fibre products at the planned manufacturing facility.

Under the contract, Yates will be responsible for all of the engineering, procurement and construction activities on the project and ensure the new facility is completed as designed and on-time.

The new manufacturing facility planned for commissioning in 2020

Genera earlier said that the Earthable will become a fully integrated solution that is suitable for producing agricultural-based fibre and food-grade packaging in the US.

Genera COO Keith Brazzell said: “We are invested in the success of this sustainable product line for both the environment and the positive opportunities it provides to rural economies.

“Genera is committed to continued success in each new venture. The partners we choose must fit our vision and be highly qualified for this undertaking.”

The Vonore facility will use locally grown grasses and other agricultural crops such as switchgrass and biomass sorghum to produce the fibres as well as various packaging products, including plates, bowls and takeout containers.

The Genera’s Earthable fibres, which are a sustainable alternative to plastics and polystyrene (Styrofoam-type products), are also used to produce a wide array of towel, tissue, cupstock and other paper products.

Genera project manager Clay Dye said: “We eagerly anticipate having the new facility operational, and we know that with Yates it will be completed quickly but with careful planning and an emphasis on safety.”

The new manufacturing facility, which is expected to create 80 jobs, will commence production in 2020.

Genera said it intends to grow the production capacity at the Vonore facility once operations have begun, potentially increasing its employment rate by 50%.