A Pennsylvania company said it plans to invest $10.9 million in a new hemp fiber processing facility in North Carolina.
BIOPHIL Natural Fibers, Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, said the facility, which will be located in Lumberton, North Carolina, will produce fibers and fibers for a wide range of applications. The company said plans include installing processing lines that clean, refine and cut coarse fibers and bark to customer specifications.
Governor Roy Cooper said, “North Carolina is the perfect location for Beauville because our economy is deeply rooted in agriculture and manufacturing.” “With their commitment to sustainability and renewable energy sources, we believe this company will be a huge success in Robson County.”
Jobs at $40,000
The plant is expected to employ 41 workers in production, management and management positions at an average annual salary of $40,122, according to BIOPHIL, with the potential to generate more than $1.6 million in annual payroll.
Fungi (mushroom-based organic matter) research is also scheduled at the North Carolina plant, where Okom Wrks Labs, Solana Beach, California, will study bearing structural compounds, according to a news release from the North Carolina governor’s office.
BIOPHIL currently operates a hemp processing line that includes recycled textile equipment and de-hulling technology at its flagship plant near Philadelphia.
NC current yield
North Carolina was the sixth largest producer of cannabis in the United States last year when state farmers harvested 1,850 acres after planting 2,150 acres, according to the First ever report on the crop from the US Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), which was released in February. NASS reported that fibrous hemp represented 1,550 acres while North Carolina farmers planted only 77 acres of hemp for CBD in 2021.
State interests pushed hemp as a rotation crop, and as an alternative to declining tobacco fields.
BIOPHIL is eligible for a $125,000 performance-based grant from the state’s One North Carolina Fund, which provides financial assistance to local governments to help attract economic investment and create jobs. Companies receive no upfront money and must meet job creation and capital investment targets to qualify for financing, which also requires matching participation from local governments.
The North Carolina Department of Commerce led a team of partners in supporting the North Carolina startup BIOPHIL. They are the North Carolina State Assembly, the North Carolina Community College System, Robson Community College, Robson County, Southeast North Carolina, the 100-person Robson County Commission, the Robson County Office of Economic Development, and the City of Lumberton.
North Carolina Choose disorganization A program to produce hemp after the government pilot ended, allowed under the 2014 Farm Act. So the state’s farmers began working directly under the USDA beginning this year.