United States Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Chair Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., welcomed Stephen J. Gatto, CEO of Myriant Corporation, to Capitol Hill to participate in a meeting with lawmakers on ways to spur job creation.
Last year, Myriant was awarded a $25 million loan guarantee conditional commitment from the Department of Agriculture. Last month, the funds were allocated and helped finance the ongoing construction of a new succinic acid production facility that is scheduled to open next year. Construction of the facility is already creating 250 construction jobs and is expected to create more than 50 permanent direct jobs and an additional 300 indirect jobs in the Lake Providence, La., area.
In November 2010, Sen. Landrieu facilitated a meeting between Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Myriant company leaders to discuss the loan guarantee application. The USDA loan guarantee is in addition to a $50 million award from the Department of Energy in December 2009.
"I am proud to welcome Steve Gatto to Capitol Hill to share his thoughts on job creation with my Senate colleagues," said Sen. Landrieu. "Myriant is making a significant investment in Lake Providence and utilizing the strategic shipping advantage the Port of Lake Providence provides. This new plant will be a big boost to an area of our state that has been disproportionately hit by high unemployment, and it serves as a great example of how dynamic public-private partnerships can create jobs and improve the economy."
"The United States, through the renewable, bio-based chemicals industry, has a tremendous opportunity to harness our national roots in agriculture, manufacturing and biotech innovation, to create sustainable products that serve as the catalyst for rural economic development and job creation," said Stephen J. Gatto, Chairman and CEO of Myriant Corporation. "Myriant is a perfect example of this model, creating 50 manufacturing jobs at our world-scale bio-succinic acid plant in Lake Providence, La., and we're thankful to Senator Landrieu for her consistent support of our efforts to commercialize bio-based chemicals across the globe."
Myriant and its engineers use naturally occurring organisms to take sugars from biomass, such as grain sorghum, and incorporate carbon dioxide from the environment to produce multiple high-value chemicals that are currently made from petroleum. Succinic acid is a building block in the production of everyday materials like plastics, textile fibers, polyesters and pigments. This new, innovative and green process is an alternative to today's chemicals that are made from petroleum and often results in lower production costs due to the high cost of petroleum as a feedstock.
Photographs are available for publication:
Sen. Mary Landrieu and Myriant Corporation Chairman and CEO Stephen J. Gatto attend a meeting about job creation on Capitol Hill Wednesday: