US-based biotechnology company Liberation Labs has broken ground on its precision fermentation biomanufacturing plant in Richmond, Indiana, US.

Said to be Liberation Labs’ first commercial-scale facility, it will have a capacity of 600,000 litres with a fully dedicated downstream process (DSP) to make biobased proteins and other building block ingredients.

It will be a supplier to new and established consumer packaging goods businesses, as well as other industrial manufacturers.

The new facility is expected to begin commercial production at scale by the end of next year.

Liberation opted for a purpose-built facility in the US instead of opting for re-purposed facilities abroad, to bring down costs and allow its clients to make their end products cost-competitive.

Liberation co-founder and CEO Mark Warner said: “Today is a major milestone not just for Liberation Labs but for the future of bioproducts. Despite strong consumer interest in biobased ingredients, the industry has yet to fully deliver on their promise.

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“We believe our purpose-built biomanufacturing facility will fill the gap and help usher in a new era of advanced bioproducts that will make our lives better, including foods, materials and yet-to-be-discovered breakthroughs.”

In April this year, the company garnered $30m in equipment funding to ramp up the facility’s development.

At that time, it placed orders for key equipment, such as 150,000-litre fermenters and DSP separation and drying units.