Sustainable moulded fibre and biomaterials company Genera has broken ground on the expansion of its Sustainable Biomaterials Campus at Vonore, Tennessee, US.

This approximately $350m project will add more than 150,000ft² of space to the existing facility.

The expanded site will be equipped with more than 60 robotic thermoforming machines, a fleet of autonomously guided vehicles, as well as automated packaging lines.

It will scale up the company’s manufacturing, production, and distribution capabilities.

Genera CEO Ben Mascarello said: “Genera has grown to become the largest domestic [US] manufacturer of circular, compostable packaging solutions and this expansion will enable us to further scale and bring our sustainable packaging solutions to more brands and consumers.

“As our capacity increases, we look forward to expanding our work with brand owners, farmers and landowners and continuing to lead the transition to a biobased economy.”

Genera will undertake the expansion project in partnership with Motus, Kiewit, and its subsidiary TIC – The Industrial Company.

TIC will be responsible for the site’s engineering, procurement and construction while Motus will supply the advanced automated thermoforming machines.

The initial capacity of the expansion is set to become operational in the first quarter of 2024.

The project is predicted to generate more than 230 jobs for communities in East Tennessee.

Tennessee’s governor Bill Lee said: “With a strong business climate, highly skilled workforce and sound infrastructure system statewide, Tennessee is poised to support new and existing business growth.

“I thank Genera for creating hundreds of new jobs for families across rural East Tennessee and look forward to the positive impact this project will have on the Monroe County community.”

Genera manufactures sustainable and compostable products for the foodservice, retail, and consumer packaging sectors.