ANDERSON — Five years ago, Italy-based Italpollina made plans to open a biostimulants plant in Anderson with plans to expand.
Italpollina officials on Friday had the official grand opening of their $10 million production facility in Anderson.
“I never thought five years ago we would start a company and be opening a plant in the U.S. market,” Luca Bonini, CEO of Italpollina, said at the ceremony. “I want to thank the people of Anderson for accepting us into the city and giving us this opportunity.”
Bonini said the 70,000-square-foot production facility, located just west of the Purdue Polytechnic Institute, is the first phase for the company in Anderson.
“We’re working on expanding our production in the second phase and construction of a research and development center,” he said.
“We have exceeded our investment in Anderson,” Bonini said. “It shows our commitment to Anderson.”
He said the research and design center will be a site for the development of new products and technology.
Jon Leman, commercial vice president for North America, said the past five years has represented an incredible journey for Italpollina.
“When we began the process, it was in the middle of an election year,” he said of the 2015 municipal elections. “We didn’t know what to expect with a change in administration. But during the transition we didn’t miss a beat.”
Anderson Mayor Thomas Broderick Jr. said after being elected mayor in 2015, he met with Greg Winkler, the executive director for the Anderson Economic Development Department, and was brought up to date on pending projects.
Broderick said he was supportive of the project from the start.
“Italpollina is a global leader,” he said. “It is the production leader of these products around the world.”
Broderick said Italpollina is now sending products back to Italy where the company was founded.
“Anderson is again involved in world markets,” he said. “They choose Anderson as a place to do business in Indiana.”
Italpollina began building its North American headquarters in Anderson in March 2016 and now plans to develop a research center specializing in sciences such as phenomics and metabolomics, the basis of Italpollina’s product development process.
Italpollina has invested $9.2 million in the Anderson facility, which is expected to start production by the end of the year and employ 35 people.
Bonini previously said the company is planning to invest $6 million in Anderson for an 80,000-square-foot expansion of its current production facility.
Italpollina is an Italian company and a global leader in the production of organic fertilizers, biostimulants and beneficial microbials.
Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 640-4863.