The New York State government will commit $3 million to the Eastman Business Park (EBP) Bioscience Manufacturing Center in Rochester, which will begin construction later this year. The construction of the $25 million, 60,000 square feet facility, which will improve equipment for converting non-food plant materials into biofuels and biochemicals, is estimated to create 1,800 jobs over the next five years.
The project will consist of transportation infrastructure improvements and the production, fermentation tanks and storage equipment necessary to convert feedstock into C5 and C6 sugars. These sugars can then be employed in the manufacture of a wide range of green chemicals, biodegradable plastics, and biofuels. Once operational, the center will be capable of processing up to 30,000 tons of sugars annually.
The industrial facility will be owned and operated by EBP EcoTech Park Operating Corp, a consortium of partner companies who will provide the majority of funding for the project. Several companies, including three out-of-state businesses, have indicated interest in using the center and intend either to expand or locate operations at Eastman Business Park as a result.
EBP, formerly Kodak Park, is a 1,200 acre technology and industrial complex that spans from the City of Rochester into the Town of Greece in Monroe County. The park now has 48 companies with more than 6,500 employees, most of which are non-Kodak jobs.
The site is also said to have access to three biorefineries, a specialty chemicals pilot and manufacturing capabilities – as well as waste water treatment facilities, water and rail access.
In 2013, Kodak and the state agreed to a global settlement that addressed environmental legacy issues at the site; the Park’s utility systems were acquired, ensuring stability for the Park’s tenants; and Kodak emerged from bankruptcy and committed to maintain significant operations and jobs at the site.