Blue Marble Biomaterials Seeing Rapid Growth
Published: SEPTEMBER 23, 2013
Missoula Company Seeing Rapid Growth
Posted: Sep 20, 2013 1:46 PM by Dennis Bragg – KPAX News
MISSOULA – There are plans to hire dozens more people and dramatically increase production as Blue Marble Biomaterials expands into a new commercial bio-refinery on the west side of Missoula.
The company is carving out a foothold in the campaign to convert natural byproducts – like old coffee grounds and wood waste- into flavorings and elements that could replace petroleum-based chemicals used in food, perfumes and other products.
The company is now making a major step, purchasing the former GTC Oats facility on Expressway and converting it to the first large commercial bio-refinery in the region
“As we start getting into our sales cycle in 2013 the one issue that we’ve really run into with some of our larger customers is that they want to see guaranteed supply,” Blue Marble Co-CEO and Chief Business Officer Colby Underwood explained.
“Obviously if they’re going to switch from a synthetic or a petroleum-derived chemical to an all-natural drop-in replacement, a sustainable chemical. They want to see that if they order 5,000 kilograms from us this year, there’s going to be 5,000 kilograms or more available the next year as well,” he added.
Underwood says the former GTC site is perfect. It was already constructed to handle “food grade” products, with a 19,000 feet with room for processing tanks, shipping and labs for on-going research and development.
There’s even space for an “outdoor” conference room overlooking the valley. Plus with almost four acres of land that’s already zoned, there’s room for future expansion.
Most importantly, capacity to process “feedstock” jumps from six tons to 55 tons per day with 10 times the amount of finished product, something that’s caught customers’ attentions.