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New Zealand-Based LanzaTech Establishes World Headquarters-Research Center In Skokie, Illinois

Area Development Online News Desk (04/03/2014)
LanzaTech, a company founded in New Zealand, will invest more than $17 million to establish its global headquarters and R&D center in Skokie, Illinois. The move will generate 30 jobs, with employees transferred from New Zealand and an additional 35 employees moving from Roselle to the new site in Skokie during 2014.

The new corporate headquarters, which will include proprietary synthetic biology and gas fermentation science, will be at the Illinois Science and Technology Park in Skokie, a $500 million, 23-acre bioscience campus. LanzaTech will share a 160,000 square foot facility, occupying 41,000 square feet of lab and office space.

“Our success can be attributed to thinking and growing globally,” LanzaTech CEO Jennifer Holmgren said. “We have a broad product portfolio and global Fortune 500 partners across a variety of sectors. To accelerate commercialization, it is natural for us to relocate closer to capital markets, infrastructure, partners and customers. Chicago is an ideal location and we would like to thank Governor Pat Quinn, his team and the Illinois government for their support during this process.”

“LanzaTech is a shining example of Illinois’ emerging culture of clean-tech innovation,” Governor Quinn said. “Illinois is home to approximately 3,500 biotech companies, and the Chicago area is one of the nation’s leading cities in clean tech research. It is the perfect place for LanzaTech’s global business to thrive.”

LanzaTech, which recently closed a $60 million fourth round of venture capital funding, has won numerous awards for its technology that captures and reuses waste carbon emissions for the production of fuels and chemicals.

As an incentive to assist with the move, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity approved tax credits for LanzaTech worth an estimated $1.1 million over the next 10 years. The credits against the company’s state income tax liability are available under the Economic Development for a Growing Economy program.

“No matter where in the world a company’s customer base might be, the advantages of Illinois are easy to see,” DCEO Director Adam Pollet said. “From its new home in Skokie, LanzaTech will be at the heart of North American commerce and innovation.”

LanzaTech, which will continue to have a presence in New Zealand, China, India and Europe, is the first company in the world to have produced fuel grade ethanol from steel mill off-gases. The company’s pre-commercial facility in China, which can produce ethanol at an annualized rate of 100,000 gallons per year, earned an internationally recognized sustainability certification from the Roundtable of Sustainable Biomaterials in 2013.

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