Technological watch

Genera Announces $340+ Million Investment in Sustainable Biomaterials Campus

Sustainable molded fiber and biomaterials company Genera announced today it has broken ground on the nearly $350 million expansion of its Sustainable Biomaterials Campus, enabling increased manufacturing, production and distribution operations.

The expansion adds more than 150,000 square feet to Genera’s existing facility and will house more than 60 robotic thermoforming machines, a fleet of autonomously guided vehicles, and automated packaging lines. Genera proudly grows and makes all its products in the United States, offering supply chain transparency for brand owners, income streams for landowners and farmers, and domestic job creation. This expansion, with initial capacity online in Q1 2024, will create more than 230 local jobs in East Tennessee upon completion.

“Genera has grown to become the largest domestic manufacturer of circular, compostable packaging solutions and this expansion will enable us to further scale and bring our sustainable packaging solutions to more brands and consumers,” said Ben Mascarello, CEO, Genera. “As our capacity increases, we look forward to expanding our work with brand owners, farmers and landowners and continuing to lead the transition to a biobased economy.”

“With a strong business climate, highly skilled workforce and sound infrastructure system statewide, Tennessee is poised to support new and existing business growth,” said Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee. “I thank Genera for creating hundreds of new jobs for families across rural East Tennessee and look forward to the positive impact this project will have on the Monroe County community.”

“Agriculture is a key driver of our state’s economy and will be further strengthened thanks to Genera’s significant investment,” said Tennessee Economic and Community Development Commissioner Stuart C. McWhorter. “This expansion would not be possible without dedicated community leaders that have taken the necessary steps to attract new business to Vonore and Monroe County and support their continued growth, and we are proud to take part in helping bring this project to fruition.”

The expansion of Genera’s Sustainable Biomaterials Campus is a massive project that will be undertaken in partnership with Motus, Kiewit and its subsidiary TIC-The Industrial Company. The engineering, procurement and construction of the expansion will be completed by TIC and the state-of-the-art automated robotic thermoforming machines will be supplied by Motus.

About GeneraFounded as a spin out from the University of Tennessee in 2008, Genera has grown to become North America’s largest vertically integrated manufacturer of sustainable packaging and biomaterials solutions for food and consumer products, retail, and food service. Genera’s products are made from locally grown regenerative grasses, offering consumers sustainable alternatives to plastics with direct benefits to local farms and communities and a significantly lower carbon impact. Genera is headquartered in Vonore, Tennessee, with an innovation center in Houston, Texas.

Publication date: 17/01/2024

Author: Marion Kupfer

Bio-based News


This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 837761.