Marrone Bio gets financial boost for Bangor plant

Marrone Bio Innovations is retrofitting its property in Bangor and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Business and Industry (B&I) Guaranteed Loan program just made that easier.

The Davis, Calif.-based company that broke ground in Van Buren County in August 2012 at the former biodiesel manufacturing plant site has been guaranteed $10 million in financing on a $32 million project. The company is undertaking the first phase of retrofitting the plant.

Phase one is expected to cost $15 million, says James Boyd, CFO of Marrone Bio Innovations. The funds will go toward equipping and expanding the 11,000-square-foot manufacturing facilty that sits on 11 acres.

The company currently employs 20 people in Bangor and plans call for adding 20 to 30 employees over the next several years.

At the Bangor facility, Marrone Bio will manufacture a broad-spectrum bioinsecticide for controlling insects and mites and the first naturally derived product for the control of invasive zebra and quagga mussels, which have invaded freshwater lakes and rivers throughout Michigan.

"We chose to come to Southwest Michigan after (U.S. Senator) Debbie Stabenow told us about the opportunities there," Boyd says. "We found it was a good location and it had a good employee base. We decided to proceed and retrofit the plant."

The U.S.D.A. program does not grant loans directly, rather it works with existing private credit providers to guarantee loans that fund enterprises, which program administrators believe can provide long term benefits to communities. Funding is intended to support the development and growth of businesses and employment in rural communities and support improvements in the economic and environmental climate in those areas.

Source: James B. Boyd, Marrone Bio Innovations