State approves incentives for hemp bioplastics, vertical-farm equipment firms in NoCo
DENVER — Two firms — one a Colorado-based hemp bioplastics company and the other a vertical-farming equipment manufacturer from the United Kingdom — were unanimously approved Thursday by the Colorado Economic Development Commission for state incentive packages aimed at enticing them to expand into Northern Colorado.
Project Dunia, an otherwise unnamed company described in commission documents as a “Colorado-based manufacturing company that produces hemp-based bioplastics that are designed for injection molding applications and are compostable,” is eyeing Weld County for a $20 million manufacturing facility.
It is the commission’s practice not to identify companies that the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade is recruiting until incentives are accepted.
Project Dunia has been offered $203,313 in tax credits over eight years.
Should the company accept, it would commit to creating 28 new jobs at an average annual wage of $69,548. Those jobs would be “primarily production workers with some supervisors, office roles and a few executive level positions,” according to OEDIT.
“Its long-term plan is to expand across the country with multiple facilities,” OEDIT deputy director and director of global business development Michelle Hadwiger said of Project Dunia, which could be Denver-based Dama Distributing.
Dama makes packaging products for the cannabis industry using hemp-based bioplastics, according to its website. A company representative identified by the first name Cole was present, but did not speak, at Thursday’s EDC meeting; the founder and CEO of Dama is named Cole Gibbs.
Next door in Larimer County, U.K.-based Intelligent Growth Solutions, a company that makes equipment for indoor farming operations, won approval for $2,758,845 in tax credits over eight years to build a North American base of operations that will serve customers in the United States and Canada.
Intelligent Growth Solutions was referred to in EDC documents as Project Sprout, however the company’s chief product officer broke with tradition Thursday and introduced himself and his employer.
If IGS accepts Colorado’s incentives offer, the company will be on the hook for creating 114 new jobs at an average annual wage of $98,991. The jobs will include engineers, supply chain, human resources and legal managers, as well as roles in marketing and sales, according to OEDIT.
“As an international company, operating our first station in the U.S. is a real challenge,” Ross said. “The local team from Larimer County, from Loveland, from Fort Collins have been fantastic in their support.”