Cellulac plc to create 30 jobs at the old Harp brewery

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A science, technology and industrial biochemicals company are to start the production of lactic acid.

A science, technology and industrial biochemicals company are to start the production of lactic acid.

Cellulac plc (“cellulac”), the first company to convert brewery facilities for the sustainable production of lactic acid from second generation (2G) feedstocks, today announces an agreement to lease a 6.8 acre site in Dundalk from the Irish Whiskey Company which is developing a distillery on the balance of the 13 acre site which was until recently the home of the second largest brewery in Ireland.

Cellulac intends to retrofit the facility and incorporate its end-to-end chemical and process engineering platform to produce Lactic Acid and Polylactic Acid for biodegradable plastics, Ethyl Lactate, a green solvent, and Sodium Lactate. The Company has produced lactic acid at a pilot plant in Potsdam, Germany. It expects to ramp up production at the facility initially to 20,000 tonnes per annum, which will have a revenue value in excess of €40 million, for export by the end of 2015. Operations are expected to commence by June 2014.

Gerard Brandon Chief Executive Officer of Cellulac said: “Ireland has a world-wide reputation for quality food ingredients derived from the agricultural sector. It is fitting, therefore, that we are at the forefront of the new bio-economy sector. With the support of the European Union we will convert, part of what was until recently, the 2nd largest brewery in Ireland into what will be the largest producer of lactic acid from agricultural waste and dairy by-products. T

“his will not only directly breath new opportunity into Dundalk by creating 30 jobs, but it will also indirectly support agricultural jobs in the rural community and generate local taxes that will benefit the area.

“Today’s agreement is an important step in accelerating our plans for commercial production. We look forward to commissioning the retrofitted and repurposed facility by mid-2014.”