IRRRB OKs $21.5 million investment in Segetis

SegetisThe IRRRB today approved a major investment in a biochemical company’s expansion to Hoyt Lakes, Minnesota, on the Mesabi Iron Range. Here’s the press release:

EVELETH, Minn.—The Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB) approved $21.2 million in funding to renewable biochemical company Segetis, Inc. at today’s board meeting in St. Paul. Segetis plans to construct a commercial-scale plant at the Laskin Energy Park in Hoyt Lakes, Minn.

“Segetis is on the leading edge of the biochemical economy and will add value to our timber and forest products economy,” said IRRRB Commissioner Tony Sertich. “This innovative company’s presence in our region will help position the Iron Range as a national leader in the biochemical economy.”

Segetis produces high performance, sustainable materials, reducing the world’s dependence on fossil fuel-based petrochemicals. Their bio-based technology platform is used in flexible plastic products, cleaning products, and a variety of other consumer goods. Total project investment is $105 million, 70% of which will be funded by the company.

The Segetis project is forecasted to have an annual $55 million economic impact on the region, supporting over 545 jobs, according to an independent study from the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Community Vitality.

In other business, the board approved $840,000 in grants for infrastructure projects that will accommodate business expansions, creating 24 permanent jobs.

That 545 job figure is interpreted quite broadly. The plant itself will employ about 50 people, mostly scientists and staff. Most of the other jobs mentioned here will be in timber harvesting for the wood products the company aims to turn into chemical products. Those are much more volatile economic calculations.

Nevertheless, if this happens as described it would be quite a win for the region — modern manufacturing and innovation the uses our northern Minnesota location as a competitive advantage.

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