Genencor International plans to finish the first phase of its expansion by June, with the remainder scheduled for completion next year.

James Otterstein, Rock County economic development manager, said Genencor's expansion is physically small in size and will add only a handful of employees. But it's a major investment in terms of the technology inside the four walls, he said.

As a global biotechnology firm, Genencor specializes in discovering, developing and manufacturing industrial enzymes. The investment will enhance the company's enzyme manufacturing capabilities with technology-intensive applications, equipment and processes, Otterstein said.

Based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Genencor also has plants in California and New York.

Otterstein said the 130,000-square-foot Beloit plant services the company's agri-processing specialty division. It is staffed around the clock with highly trained lab, maintenance and process technicians, he said.

The Beloit plant competed with the Cedar Rapids plant for the expansion project, he said.

The project has the support of the Greater Beloit Economic Development Corp., which is making Genencor a $100,000 low-interest loan. The project also is in the running for other state assistance.

"This particular project is a testament to the collaboration that can exist between the public and private sectors," Otterstein said. "In the not-too-distant past, the outlook for the Beloit plant was less than stable.

"Thankfully, that situation blossomed into an exceptional opportunity to enhance this global biotechnology company's presence locally."

The Beloit plant has been operational under different owners since 1984. It opened as Enzyme Bio-Systems, which Genencor bought from Corn Products International in 2002.

On the corporate front, Genencor is going through another change.

DuPont, a science-based products and services company based Delaware, said in January that it will buy the Copenhagen-based Danisco, Genencor's corporate parent. does not condone or review every comment. Read more in our Commenter Policy Agreement

  • Keep it clean. Comments that are obscene, vulgar or sexually oriented will be removed. Creative spelling of such terms or implied use of such language is banned, also.
  • Don't threaten to hurt or kill anyone.
  • Be nice. No racism, sexism or any other sort of -ism that degrades another person.
  • Harassing comments. If you are the subject of a harassing comment or personal attack by another user, do not respond in-kind. Use the "Report comment abuse" link below to report offensive comments.
  • Share what you know. Give us your eyewitness accounts, background, observations and history.
  • Do not libel anyone. Libel is writing something false about someone that damages that person's reputation.
  • Ask questions. What more do you want to know about the story?
  • Stay focused. Keep on the story's topic.
  • Help us get it right. If you spot a factual error or misspelling, email or call 1-800-362-6712.
  • Remember, this is our site. We set the rules, and we reserve the right to remove any comments that we deem inappropriate.

Report comment abuse