Genera to open sustainable packaging facility in Tennessee, US

18 July 2019 (Last Updated July 18th, 2019 12:13)

Genera has received $118m investment from WindSail Capital Group to open a manufacturing facility in Vonore, Tennessee, US.

Genera has received $118m investment from WindSail Capital Group to open a manufacturing facility in Vonore, Tennessee, US.

Along with the growth capital investor, Coppermine Capital and Stairway Capital also participated in the funding round.

The facility will be used to produce Genera’s Earthable fibre products, with the biomass solutions company having leased a former biorefinery from the University of Tennessee Research Foundation affiliate TennEra for the facility’s development.

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 fibres can also be used to make towel, tissue, cup stock and other paper products.

Genera president and CEO Kelly Tiller said: “With this new investment, we can begin to answer the increasing demand for environmentally conscious solutions with a truly farm-to-table product made in America.

“We’re excited about the new revenue stream we can offer our local farmers. Our Earthable plant-based paper and packaging products really resonate with consumers.

“We are passionate about delivering sustainability improvements to the marketplace while making positive impacts in rural economies.”

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

Genera expects 80 jobs to be created at the facility, which will commence production of Earthable products when it becomes operational in 2020.

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