Posted 2 years ago

By Post Staff

 Laurel, Nebraska  September 25, 2013—A ribbon cutting and open house was held by Laurel BioComposite, LLC in Laurel, Nebraska today for their bio-based project funded through the  purchase of equipment and working capital.  A $5 million loan from Security Bank in Laurel backed by a USDA Rural Development Loan Guarantee and leveraged funds of nearly $6.9 million were utilized.   Attending the event were Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman, USDA Rural Development Nebraska State Director Maxine Moul, and Laurel Mayor Mark Patefield.

“As a start up company utilizing new technology and introducing new products, the USDA Rural Development Loan Guarantee was an essential component of our plans to move the project forward.  We appreciate the work of  USDA and Security Bank team members in putting this together,” said CEO Tim Bearnes, Laurel BioComposite, LLC.

“USDA Rural Development is pleased to be able to assist Laurel BioComposite, LLC,” said  Moul. “This is an innovative business bringing nine new jobs to the area, which is important to rural communities.  It also is a project that fits very well with  Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack’s focus on building the bio-based economy in Rural America.”

“We appreciate the long term relationship that our bank has developed with the USDA and  are excited to see the Laurel Biocomposite project progress,” said Keith Knudsen, President of Security Bank.

The funds were used to purchase equipment and provide working capital to the startup manufacturing plant that takes distiller’s grain from ethanol plants and produces a pellet and powder product.  That product is sold to plastics manufacturers to use as a resin enhancer for thermoplastics products.  Three jobs will be retained and nine added.

“We’re celebrating some important milestones,” said Bearnes. “Today’s event gives us the chance to thank a lot of people that have supported our project and believe in our future.”

Laurel BioComposite’s mission, Bearnes explained, is to produce Bio-Res products from a renewable resource. “Our product replaces a portion of traditional plastic resins and creates a positive environmental impact by reducing our reliance on crude oil,” he said. “It remains our goal to manufacture a quality bio-based product at a cost effective price. We don’t make the plastic. We make the plastic greener.”

The new production line converts feedstock into a powder for thermoset applications or master batch pellets for use in thermoplastics applications such as injection molding. Phase II which includes a second production line and bulk material handling is underway. Completion of Phase II will raise Laurel BioComposite’s annual capacity to 48 million pounds.

For more information contact Business Programs Specialist Bill Sheppard at 402-371-5350

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The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) remains focused on carrying out its mission, despite a time of significant budget uncertainty. Today’s announcement is one part of the Department’s efforts to strengthen the rural economy.

President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.

USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has a portfolio of programs designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. USDA has made a concerted effort to deliver results for the American people, even as the department implements sequestration – the across-the-board budget reductions mandated under terms of the Budget Control Act.

USDA has already undertaken historic efforts since 2009 to save more than $828 million in taxpayer funds through targeted, common-sense budget reductions. These reductions have put USDA in a better position to carry out its mission, while implementing sequester budget reductions in a fair manner that causes as little disruption as possible.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).

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